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Who is it we love and why do we love these people? Toward the end of her life, Judith asks these questions, trying to understand why she chose Elliot Pine to love. Why, for sixty years, did she persist in loving someone who never gave as much as he was given? In her quest for understanding, she writes her story to this exceptional man. Meeting as children in Chicago, they move to opposite coasts. Elliot embarks on a remarkable legal career in Washington and New York while Judith raises her children alone in California, after tragedy. Coming together again and again throughout their lives, their love is never equal, Elliot defining the terms of the relationship.
Judith examines the role of Beauty in love, for Elliot's face and form were beautiful. She considers the role of Consolation, how they supported one another in devastating times. Insanity, Magic, Deceit, Sensory Fulfillment, and, finally, Being Seen--Judith looks at these many aspects of her love.
Her feelings for this man cost her, impinged on every other relationship in her life: friends, her two husbands, even her three children. After sixty years, however, it all changes. Judith makes one more profound sacrifice, finally achieving a sort of long-awaited happiness in her love.