At fifty, Alice Gregory discovers that she can’t really see anymore. So she buys a pair of drugstore reading glasses, strength +1, and her suburban life looks magically more inviting. Outside the circle of marriage and family, shrinking as her three sons grow up and leave home, fresh vistas open. The illness of a new friend, an encounter with a recently divorced childhood companion, and her rekindled ambition to have a career bring unexpected excitement and responsibility.
Can Alice, with the power of her mature vision, negotiate life more successfully than she did as a young woman? Or shape her destiny more deliberately? Can she sustain the bonds of home, and also fulfill her longing to experience something more than what she already knows? When chance savagely dismantles the Gregory family, Alice’s husband, Richard, a successful publisher who commutes to a wider world, puts on her glasses, struggling to see the world as Alice sees it.
Shifting in perspective between Alice and Richard, Katherine Bucknell tells a beguiling, ultimately joyful, story. A writer of wisdom, elegance, and wit, Bucknell asks how we create, from day-to-day events, a life that has form, a life that feels whole. +1 is a sparkling, resonant exploration of what it means to love completely and of our limitless, even reckless, need to grow and to change.
Katherine Bucknell is the author of +1, as well as three previous novels, Canarino, Leninsky Prospekt, and What You Will. She is currently at work on a biography of Christopher Isherwood. She is the editor of his Diaries, in four volumes, and The Animals, letters between Isherwood and his partner, Don Bachardy. She also edited W.H. Auden's Juvenilia: Poems 1922-1928. She has degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Columbia Universities. Born in Saigon and raised in Washington, D.C., she now lives in London with her husband, Bob Maguire, and their three children.