Friday, March 20, 2015

Love and Social Timing: The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay a novel by Andrea Gillies

The Enlightenment of Nina Findlay by Andrea Gillies is a novel of a relationship triangle, or as Nina sees it, a circle of love. Triangle or circle, Nina’s view was two dimensional from childhood to middle age. There were two brothers in the Romano family, friends of Nina’s parents. The three were best of friends throughout childhood and young adulthood. Nina had a happy, physical, and uninhibited relationship with Luca and a more intense, rational, and judgmental interaction with the older brother Paolo.

Reviewing her life from middle age, Nina believes at first that the social timing of events determined the outcome of her triangular/circular relationship with the Romano brothers, marrying and maintaining a formal contract with one and separating from the informal bonds of friendship with the other. In solitary retrospection, Nina discovers that there are two types of timing: intimate and social. With intimate relationships, love determines the timing of social events. With the development and maintenance of a friendship, social timing determines life paths. Whether the timing is pre-determined or serendipitous, the triangle/circle two dimensional view of Nina’s relationships is hopelessly inadequate to explain her current situation. Realizing the close parallel with her mother’s unexpected social and intimate life decisions, Nina concludes she has also confused movement with action. Like her mother, she has failed to distinguish the two types of timing that determine life paths resulting in the wasting of the precious time of her past life. With this insight, can she avoid wasting more of her life?

This is a very well-written introspective novel that slowly unfolds with the intersection of additional triangle/circles involving Nina with secondary characters.

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