Wednesday, 4 April 2012
My Love Affair with an Older Man
I suppose all writers have favorites among their characters. It’s only natural that some of our inventions should resonate more in our minds and emotions than others. So it is that I fell in love with an older man. Ian McQuaid in The Memory of Roses is a man I’d like to meet outside the pages of fiction.
Ian is an American archaeologist who works in Greece. He always wanted to be an archaeologist even when he was a boy. His father wanted him to be an engineer but Ian persisted against all odds and went on to become world-renown in his field.
Even as a young man Ian has a brilliant mind but, like many highly intelligent men, he isn’t very bright about women. And so, as often happens, Ian ends up married to the wrong woman. It takes him years to realize that his marriage is a sham.
Ian is forty-two and recuperating from a serious illness on the Greek Island of Corfu, wondering what to do about his dysfunctional marriage, when a young Italian artist, Maria Calbrese, walks into his life and shatters his complacency. Their love affair rocks him to the depths of his soul.
I suppose what I love most about Ian is his vulnerability. That, and his sense of what is right and moral. He is at heart a totally decent man.
In the scene below, Ian meets Maria for the first time.