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The narrator's tone is perfect for this death-watch mosaic of an artist's memories as she sits alone for one night with her deceased mathematician husband. The novel captures the immediate grief mixed with concern for the future, mixed good and bad memories, and the conditions of the death room. The author's narrative device does require the reader's belief in an outstanding memory for detail including mathematical thought problems posed by the husband to his classes and his wife. A couple of other challenges for careful listening include: firstly, untranslated Italian and French are sprinkled throughout appropriate to the well-travelled, highly educated folks involved; secondly the pieces of memory about the couple's life together abut abruptly with the present and other past events, also appropriate to memories called out during grief.
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