Virginia and Joe Thorndike have been married for twenty-two years, and now she wants a new life. She’s in love with Rich Villamano, a surgeon thirteen years her junior, but after flying to Miami to start living with him, he tells her he has changed his mind and they must go their own ways. In an instant their four-year affair is over. She takes off in his car, heading north with no luggage, no hope, no destination. She buys a bottle of gin and drinks it straight. Afraid that she’ll kill herself or someone else on the road, she abandons the car in Georgia, flies to New York and takes an airport hotel room. She has no home and nowhere to go.
The World Against Her Skin is a biographical novel in which much is remembered and much imagined. “I stay close to my mother’s story,” the author explains, “but to know the details I had to make them up.”
Author John Thorndike grew up in New England, graduated from Harvard, took an MA from Columbia, then lit out for Latin America. He spent two years in the Peace Corps in El Salvador and two, with his wife and child, on a backcountry farm in Chile. Eventually he settled with his son in Athens, Ohio, where for ten years his day job was farming. Then it was construction. His first two books were novels, followed by a memoir, Another Way Home, about his wife’s schizophrenia and his life as a single parent. A second memoir, The Last of His Mind, describes his father’s year-long descent into Alzheimer’s.
THE WORLD AGAINST HER SKIN
By John Thorndike
Publisher: Beck and Branch
Publication date: May 1, 2022.
Paperback $12 (ISBN: 978-0-9994457-2-3)
Kindle and ePub $3.99 (ISBN: 978-0-9994457-3-0)