Trading Faces

Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t.

And while you can effortlessly tell the difference when it comes to chocolate, with people it’s not as easy.

So things don’t seem that strange when you meet Margaret (May, Mia, Greta, Marge, Meg) Towne, the lead character in Gabrielle Zevin’s just-published debut novel, Margarettown. But you know there’s something amiss.

The bulk of the book is a lengthy letter from Margaret’s dying husband to their daughter, telling of their meeting and their marriage — and of the trials of caring for someone who’s occasionally a kiss away from crazy. (Oh, aren’t we all?) It’s never clear whether Margarettown is a real place or merely a metaphor for his wife’s complexities. What’s certain, however, is that he loves all her incarnations.

Sound morose? Hardly. Zevin (don’t hate her because she’s just 27) has written a fresh, poignant story. A perfect summer read: sweet and satisfying.

And unlike an Almond Joy, it won’t turn into a melty mess in the sunshine.

Available online at amazon.com or your local bookstore.