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Banishing Verona

3.41  ·  Rating Details ·  540 Ratings  ·  79 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
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published 2004)
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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
Georgette Ioannitca
'Ενα καλό βιβλίο με αργή ροή αλλά καθόλου κουραστικό.Ωραία και κατανοητή γραφή.Χαρακτηριστικό το σύνδρομο Άσπεργκερ με προβλήματα στην κοινωνική ζωή, λίγες φιλίες και σπάνιες με κάποιες ρουτίνες στην ζωή ή κάνουν κάποια πράγματα με τον ίδιο τρόπο, η θέλουν να ειναι όλα στην θέση τους αλλά και αν δεν είναι ξέρουν ακριβώς που είναι το κάθε τι.Διαφορετικό βιβλίο που σου αφήνει ανάμεικτα συναισθήματα
Eveline Chao
Jan 08, 2017 Eveline Chao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing writing; wonderful, funny little details.

As a person who organizes her life around caffeinated beverages I loved all the little mentions of tea (characters frequently alluding to needing tea, or feeling better after a cup of tea, and Brits complaining about the way tea is served in the US).

One of the main characters Zeke has Asperger's Syndrome and, I can't judge how accurate Livesey's rendering is of it, but a lot of the way things were told to convey the point of view of a person with
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

Jun 09, 2009 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 03, 2012 Cat. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
May 09, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
May 27, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 02, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, 2010
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
Oct 03, 2011 Nick Duretta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2009 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 06, 2008 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 05, 2015 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jodi Paloni
Oct 10, 2012 Jodi Paloni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
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
Jun 15, 2008 Randy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Dec 30, 2016 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Margot Livesey admirably details characters thoughts and feelings in Banishing Verona. She writes with an ease and perceptiveness which rarely seems forced. I was tempted to rate it five stars, although the last 100 pages or so left me flat, mainly due to a plot which turned fantastical. I wish Livesey stuck to the intriguing relationship between Verona and Zeke instead of relying on plot twists at the conclusion which rang slightly contrived.
Mar 14, 2012 Polly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Luce Cronin
Feb 28, 2016 Luce Cronin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very engaging book. i could not help but feel sorry for Zeke, the protagonist. Verona treats him so poorly and he is such a good , innocent soul. The main focus of the book relates Zeke's attempt at banishing Verona from his heart and his life. And the question is, of course, as stated in a passage in the book: "People can forgive each other until the seas run dry, but if you've lost the feeling that the other person is special and amazing, then it does not help much".
Lauren Albert
Apr 20, 2010 Lauren Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
Oct 16, 2012 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 03, 2008 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 19, 2013 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 15, 2010 Colleen McCarthy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 01, 2008 Marguerite rated it liked it  ·  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.
Jun 25, 2012 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Sep 16, 2011 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed very much the quirky outlook of Zeke, and the overall lightly elegant tone. One review mentioned the "fretwork between the characters," which struck home with me. The ending was not as strong as the rest, but overall really liked it.
Dec 20, 2007 Dena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this one, I then read most of her other books- love her writing style, love her ability to create lots through few words and of course I am one who will put a book down forever if it is not engaging enough- so this passed the test and beyond.
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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
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