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Banishing Verona

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  467 ratings  ·  65 reviews
A couple begins an intense affair, only to be separated abruptly-and perhaps irrevocably-in this surprising, suspenseful love story

Zeke is twenty-nine, a man who looks like a Raphael angel and who earns his living as a painter and carpenter in London. He reads the world a little differently from most people and has trouble with such ordinary activities as lying, decipherin
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ebook, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 898)
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Annie
Margot Livesey rotates between the perspectives of two British characters, Verona and Zeke. The whole book is driven by their unexpected romance as well as the masterful ability of the author to create such enjoyable life-like characters that the reader really finds himself caring about. I was at times annoyed with Verona's audacity, but ultimately, that's part of her charm and Verona self-effacingly realizes her shortcomings too. Zeke is a housepainter, who also has Asperger's. He was diagnosed ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Livesey (Eva Moves the Furniture) bares open the human heart in Banishing Verona. Her writing is as elegant as ever as she alternates between Verona and Zeke's perspectives on their lives and examines the ties that bind them to their lovers and families. Most critics enjoyed this cerebral approach. A few, however, thought it forced as each character jetsets across the continent amid missed connections. Zeke unquestionably steals the show. His labors seem "no less heroic than Ulysses" as he follo

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Kate
I nearly couldn't get through this boring, pointless book. It's rare for me to dislike a book so much, but I found I just didn't like these two people at all, and I didn't care even a tiny bit whether they ever found each other or not. They were both so boring, and never seemed passionate enough to be so obsessively in love after spending about 24 hours together. Yuck.
Jean
I've got to admit I've got a thing for Margot Livesey. I discovered her when I read The Flight of Gemma Hardy so I am reading her backwards, so to speak. I think this is the 4th title and I can see the skills evolving as she writes. I love how she experiments with her characters and allows them to be deeply nuanced and real. They react weirdly at times but that gives me a sense I am reading about actual people. Or those stories you make up yourself about people you see in public and wonder how t ...more
Michelle
(3.5 stars) The story is told in alternating sections by the two main characters, Zeke and Verona. Zeke is remodeling a home when a pregnant Verona shows up, supposedly as the niece of the couple who own the property. The two make a connection, but she is gone in the morning. It becomes clear that Zeke is somewhere on the higher functioning portion of the autism spectrum, which makes his part of the story a bit more challenging to follow at first. He is dealing with his father’s illness and his ...more
Cat
Excellent book, as long as you buy into the doggedness of the main male character, Zeke.

Zeke, though it's never spelled out, is autistic, probably has Asperger's Syndrome. His parents are greengrocers and want him to take over the shop now that he's approaching 30. He wants nothing to do with it; he enjoys his handyman jobs. His life is far from 'normal' but it fits him fairly well.

He's busy painting in a house whose owners are out of town on holiday when their visibly-pregnant niece shows up a
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Kate
This is the second book of Livesey's that I've read, the first was Eva Moves The Furniture, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Banishing Verona is very, very different, and it's a beautifully written story from two points of view. Zeke and Verona meet in a haphazard fashion and develop an immediate connection. The story is told in pieces, first from Zeke's perspective, then Verona's and back and forth. Zeke suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, and Livesey weaves his condition into the narrative brilliantly
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Elizabeth
I liked this one a lot more than "Eva Moved the Furniture," but then again, I'm the only one of my friends who read that novel and didn't like it. This novel felt less clunky than EMTF, more natural, and more like Livesey was writing what she knew. As usual, Livesey's prose is lovely and very readable. I enjoyed the descriptions of Boston and London. Some elements of the plot felt strangely separate from the book by the time it was all over, but I suppose that was how they were meant to seem. Th ...more
Nick Duretta
I was tempted to give this five stars, as I love books of this sort--ones with unusual, well-drawn characters swept up in circumstances that follow an unpredictable course. Livesey is a superb writer with a keen eye for those details that really sum up a person or a situation. While I wouldn't necessarily call it a page-turner, this book keeps getting more and more interesting as it builds to its (satisfying) resolution. What keeps me from going full-out on this one are the two main characters t ...more
Kaethe
I read this because everyone else at Readerville was reading it and loving it. Apparently I enjoyed it enormously, but I'm afraid I can't remember anything else about it.
Lauren
An interesting little book. It was difficult to get into for me, but half way through I then got a bit more into the story. It's a strange story about two people who barely know eachother but believe they are in love. Throughout the whole book they are actually together and have any type of contact for a span of about 3 days total. The rest of the book they are apart and living their own lives but constantly thinking about eachother. On one hand it is completely weird, but on the other it is int ...more
Catherine
Huge disappointment. I loved Eva Moves the Furniture so I am shocked by how bored I was by this book.
Susan
There is never any doubt that Livesey's novels contain strong, often beautiful language. Or that they're not page-turners. I've never been able to put one down once I start it. Here, too. I knocked back my rating 2 stars for what felt to me like improbable plot, though, where to me it felt as if she'd lost control of the narrative (and with it, character motivation) in her attempt to keep her two protagonists apart for most (all? you have to read it) of the book. I gave a star back, though, beca ...more
Jodi Paloni
I am a big fan of Margot Livesey's writing. My goal is to read all of her novels. This was my fourth. I suppose I most admire her lovely, rhythmic prose and how her characters and scenes stick with me over time. She bridges contemporary life with classic, intelligent language. In this novel, the POV character alternates with each chapter as the reader follows a parallel story of two people who meet up in the beginning and search for connection throughout. I find the structure of dual POV intrigu ...more
Randy
Heard an NPR interview with Livesay - articulate and intriguing - so is this book. A most unique love story with a twisted plot - but her writing is sublime - palpably descriptive with the right amount of dialog and inner thoughts.

Just finished Banishing Verona - most unusual love story between a pregnant radio interviewer and a man with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism. But other relationships, good and bad, are brought into the fold in a captivating plot diced with superb dialog, witty hu
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Barbara Hale
This was an extremely dull, shallow work of fiction involving oddball, undeveloped characters, none of whom appealed to me. I read it because it was the first selection for a newly formed book club I've been asked to join. I hope the selections improve.
Singeratheart88
I liked this book for the most part, however the ending was kind of bland and I just found myself wanting to finish the book as quickly as possible so I could start a new one that would hopefully keep my interest peaked longer. It is a very sweet story line about a man named Zeke who struggles with Asperger's Syndrome. He meets a woman named Verona who is expecting her first child and has a thieving brother who gets her wrapped up in his mess. Because of Zeke's strong emotions towards Verona, he ...more
Polly
First of all, I thought I already added this book. Oh, well.

Completely wackadoodle and completely compelling. As in all the best love stories (and this is only partly a love story), the pair are star-crossed in some way. In this case, many ways. He has Asberger's, she is seven months pregnant. His parents bug the hell out of him, her brother causes some serious problems.

The writing is true, the story preposterous. This is making me read all of Livesey's other work.
Jaksie (jkcosmos) Cosmos
Very light read/ wondering if it's been worth my time. Slow - & after reading & waiting for something anything - redeeming it / giving some 'pause' / thought-provoking...well, let's just say that none of that happened. Since I have only 'x' amount of time on this earth & even less time to read all of the most wonderful books; I really am not happy that I picked this one up. Shame on the publishers for 'marketing' Livesey's book/ terrible.
Lauren Albert
I really liked this. I thought Livesey did a great job of portraying Zeke and his Asperger-like peculiarities--she made him come across as unusual but never freakish. But there are a lot of great characters--Verona, of course, the single-mother-to-be who falls for Zeke, her charming, asocial brother Henry, her friend Toby with his unrequited love for Henry; every character is interesting and believable.
Jan Pelosi
Only giving it 2 stars because 1.5 isn't an option. I have to admit that I only read this book because nothing else I wanted to read was available yet at the library. I saw it sitting on the shelf, it sounded interesting, and I snagged it. It's a pretty light-weight read. Wacky characters. Not much happens. Ending was very dull and not the least bit exciting. Can't recommend it to anyone.
Linda
I liked this book, but not as much as others I have read by this author. Her characters are well researched: Zeke has Asperger's, is functional, but shows a lot of the characteristics common to this syndrome. I'm not sure he could have handled a trip to America as well as he did; his life just seems to be in too much turmoil for someone with Asperger's. The book left me unsettled.
Marguerite
Apr 01, 2008 Marguerite rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fixer-uppers
I found this on the new-fiction shelf of the library, and am a better person for it. I painted houses to help pay for college, and was rather delighted to return to the state of reverie it offered, thanks to the character of Zeke. The plot of "Banishing Verona" is preposterous, but I bought into it anyway. I haven't been able to get through anything else by Livesey, though.
Susan
I would give this 3.5 stars if I could, with the extra half star for the interesting portrayal of the hero, who has Asperger syndrome. I couldn't suspend my belief enough, though, to believe that he and the titular (if I'm using the word right) Verona could become so smitten with one another after one encounter. And then they spent about 300 pages apart. Annoying.
Colleen McCarthy
Seems to be quite a bit of differing opinion on this book, but I liked it and thought it was an easy read. I'm not sure how authentic the experience of the person with Asperger's was, but I liked the character development for the main character. It was a somewhat bizarre storyline but it didn't take away from the characters themselves.
Gail
Margot Livesey also recommended by members of my book group and a very interesting author. I've ordered another of hers, Eva Moves the Furniture. Will let you know how it goes. Veronna was a page turner until the end, when I felt it kind of disappointed. Still, I recommend it. Page turners are all too hard to come by these days.
Rosemary
Great love story that takes place in London and Boston between Zeke, a house painter with asperger's who cannot tell a lie, and Verona, who mysteriously appears in his life and has a brother, Henry, who cannot tell the truth. Confusing at first but then I was totally caught up in this fun story-loved Zeke's impressions of America.
Anne
Not as compelling as "Eva Moves the Furniture," but it did stay with me afterwards; what is most memorable about a sometimes far-fetched story of love and coincidence is the voice of the protagonist who has Asperberger's Syndrome -- a sympathetic and engaging portrait. Definitely worth a read.
Shannon
Shifting perspectives between the main character, Zeke and the secondary character, Verona happens pretty seamlessly. I enjoyed this book...the flow was smooth, the development of characters was strong and consistent. I felt the ambiance of the story vividly.

This is a book to read
Kathleen
Unexpectedly, Zeke, a painter in London, has met a woman that he'd like to know better, Verona, a woman in her thirties who is preganant. She disappears. Zeke follows her all the way to America at the expense of leaving his parents without the help they need. Is he crazy? A page turner
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Margot Livesey grew up in a boys' private school in the Scottish Highlands where her father taught, and her mother, Eva, was the school nurse. After taking a B.A. in English and philosophy at the University of York in England she spent most of her twenties working in shops and restaurants and learning to write. Her first book, a collection of stories called Learning By Heart, was published by Peng ...more
More about Margot Livesey...
The Flight of Gemma Hardy Eva Moves the Furniture The House on Fortune Street The Missing World Criminals

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