Memory and Desire: A Novel
From the acclaimed storyteller, a propulsive tale of desire, betrayal, duty, and infidelity—and the explosive consequences of a buried passion
The newsman in Luke Blackburn shuns the spotlight when he and his old friend, now the county mayor in Key West, discover stranded Cuban refugees during a fishing outing turned tragic, but he is part of the story that goes out on the wire. When Corinne, his lover from many years ago, happens to read it and reaches out, the news she bears will disrupt his carefully orchestrated life and threatens to blow up his marriage. His wife, Maureen, lace-curtain Irish while he was from Appalachia, is a brilliant scholar who is also bipolar and fragile. Luke has never told her about his youthful passion or the infant that Corinne, barely out of her teenage years, gave up at birth when they split and he went to war. Maureen’s illness has meant that she and Luke have foregone having children of their own. In Luke’s mind, she cannot find out about Corinne or the child.
Meanwhile, in Miami, where Luke works as the managing editor at a newspaper struggling to survive in the digital era, his star investigative reporter is slowly piecing together a blockbuster story zeroing in on the corrupting influence of cartel money in south Florida. The evidence she has uncovered links a flashy real estate developer, a legacy of murky land dealings, and the stink of political corruption in Luke’s own refuge, Key West.
Praise for Memory and Desire: A Novel
"With his journalist’s eye for detail and his novelist’s sensibility for the nuances of human behavior, Philip Caputo has crafted a tour-de-force story of love in the modern world and of mental illness that will resonate with the reader long after its breathtaking finale."
—Madeleine Blais, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of To the New Owners and Queen of the Court
"Caputo’s fluid yarn unspools at just the right pace, ultimately knitting together the themes of loyalty, betrayal, unbreakable bonds, and the lingering taste of a long-ago passion."—Booklist
Praise for Philip Caputo:
“Caputo’s wisdom runs deep. Few writers have better captured the emotional lives of men.”―New York Times Book Review, front-page review
“Caputo knows how to set a scene and build tension through detail. . . . His prose is tough-minded but not without compassion, and he brings experience from one part of the world to another.”―Seattle Times
“A master investigator of the human psyche in the mold of Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Bellow.”―Philipp Meyer, author of The Son
“A superb storyteller.”—Library Journal
“A master of his craft.”―Booklist
“An acute observer of human disorder and disarray."―Kirkus Reviews