“A beautifully written novel that should be read by everyone who cares about the human condition.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
Harvard physiologist Robert Merriwether has four whip-smart children, an attractive and intelligent wife, and a successful, stimulating career. True, he and Sarah have not slept together in years, and when he decides to stay behind in Cambridge for the summer while the rest of the family vacations in Maine, his newfound freedom is deeply unsettling. But that does not mean that Merriwether wants to change his life or feels unloved. To a man of science, desire is nothing more than a biological reaction. And Merriwether’s personal philosophy is that once you’re in your forties, real love is nothing but lust and nostalgia.
Then Cynthia Ryder walks into his life. Twenty years old, she is beautiful, intelligent, witty, and kind. And, to Merriwether’s great surprise, she wants to be with him. Initially, he evades her advances, sure that hers is just a passing fancy. But as he gets to know her better, Merriwether realizes that Cynthia is more mature than he first suspected and that the joy he feels when they are together has been missing from his life for a long, long time. When the summer ends and their need for each other does not fade, Merriwether realizes that he is being given a chance at true love. The question is, will he be brave enough to take it?
Considered by many critics to be Richard Stern’s finest novel, Other Men’s Daughters is a tender, honest, witty, and life-affirming portrait of a love as transcendent as it is unlikely.