Written with passionate conviction, this story is being told by two of its characters: Ben, a twenty-seven years old student, and Anita, a plain-spoken, spunky, uneducated redhead, freshly married to Lenny, his aging father. Behind his back, Ben and Anita find themselves increasingly drawn to each other. They take turns using an old tape recorder to express their most intimate thoughts, not realizing at first that their voices are being captured by him.
Meanwhile, Lenny is trying to keep a secret from both of them: his ex-wife, Ben’s mother, a talented pianist, has been stricken with an early-onset alzheimer. Taking care of her gradually weighs him down.
What emerges in these characters is a struggle, a desperate, daring struggle to find a path out of conflicts, out of isolation, from guilt to forgiveness.
The title Apart From Love comes from a phrase used three times in the story:
After a while I whispered, like, “Just say something to me. Anything.” And I thought, Any other word apart from Love, ‘cause that word is diluted, and no one knows what it really means, anyway.
Anita to Lenny, in Apart From Love
Why, why can’t you say nothing? Say any word—but that one, ‘cause you don’t really mean it. Nobody does. Say anything, apart from Love.
Anita to Ben, in The Entertainer
For my own sake I should have been much more careful. Now—even in her absence—I find myself in her hands, which feels strange to me. I am surrounded—and at the same time, isolated. I am alone. I am apart from Love.
Ben, in Nothing Surrendered
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