by Sonia Taitz
Down Under is a passion-stoked novel about first love and second chances. A young Catholic teen, abused by his conservative father, falls in love with a prim Jewish girl whose strict parents reject him. Call Down Under a boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl tale with a twist: Romeo and Juliet in outer suburbia. Fate takes the boy, Collum Whitsun, to Australia, where he becomes an international movie star. Decades later, when his career derails and his mind unravels, he begins a quest back to the past. The girl he loved, Judy Pincus, is now Jude Ewington, middle-aged mother of twin teen boys, with a long-term marriage in the doldrums. Nostalgia, hurt, and fantasy draw Collum and Jude together again, in a mating dance that reveals every shade of their folly and hope.
Down Under takes a wise, witty look at the struggles of aging, class, faith, and love. Most of all, it explores the hidden meanings of loyalty. Part farcical romp, part lyrical romance, Down Under explores the road not taken—and the mayhem that ensues when lives are daringly re-routed.