Falling In Love with Natassia
Mary and Ross were in Rome on a junior-year-abroad program when they had their baby, Natassia, who was conceived on a dare: “Do it with no birth control,” another couple had challenged. “We’ll do it if you do it . . .”
Mary and Ross are unmarried, ambitious, and way too young, and though smitten with their daughter, they eventually—and with regret—abdicate responsibility to Ross’s parents, who raise Natassia in the intellectually stimulating (and seemingly loving) atmosphere of their Manhattan apartment. Fifteen years later, 1989, Natassia is an honors student and a violin player. Despite the absence of her mother, a world-class modern dancer who survives by living in the moment, and her father, a physician in the Pacific Northwest, Natassia is thriving—until her mysterious romance with a man she will not identify derails her so profoundly that her parents, grandparents, and even her godparents, Nora and Christopher, must come together to save her. A dancer, a doctor, two book editors, a painter and a psychotherapist—all are forced to turn away from and also draw upon the creative and intellectual endeavors that consume and define them. Struggling to buoy Natassia, her guardians sink along with her into the deepest darkness.
Mary, a Korean war orphan, must learn from step one how to provide the mother love she herself never received; indeed, the daughter's breakdown sparks the mother's coming-of-age. Ross, still in love with Mary after ten years’ separation, must face the consequences of his obsessions. And Nora and Christopher, burdened by a decades-old secret, use desperate measures to save Natassia—and their marriage.
Within the intimate universe of one unorthodox family, Falling in Love with Natassia explores the blurred lines between love that heals and sex that harms. These characters will shock you with how forcefully their hurt hearts demand restitution; they will mystify you with the paths they choose as they move toward recovery and redemption.
New York, New York
Monardo, Anna, "Falling In Love with Natassia" (2006). Faculty Books and Monographs. 65.