Amelia Geist fell in love as a teenager, and has chosen to remain a virgin in honor of that love. Now an old woman, she pines for the man who left her so many years ago.
Tris Holloway, the man Amelia loved, is caught in an unhappy marriage and is nearing retirement. As he contemplates the years of his life, he can’t help but reflect on the innocent beauty of his time with Amelia.
Holly Schenck, a single mom and hairdresser, meets Amelia just before the older woman’s 50-year high school reunion. As she fixes Amelia’s hair for the event, she schemes to let this stranger babysit her girls so she can have another late night tryst with her bartender lover.
In Fragile, Katsaropolous weaves together these three lives. Using broken sentence fragments to lead the reader from one point of view to another, we see all three fragile beings trying to survive. As each is caught up in his or her own pain, the pain is somehow shared by the others, through the web of humanity.
In reading Fragile, it’s hard not to identify with the broken parts of our own lives. We see deeply into the lives of these three characters, through their thoughts and words. But somehow this web becomes twisted, as strange decisions are made and lives go in unexpected directions. Many unanswered questions remain at the end, as in life and death. But through it all, hope remains for a brighter future.
Reviewer: Alice Berger