The Marmalade Man Author:Charlotte Vale Allen Bringing fresh perspective to the problems of contemporary life -- love, success, independence, and commitment -- The Marmalade Man tells the story of two friends who embark on separate careers, only to discover, after a ten-year separation, their love for one another. — Sherrill Westcott, a talented young actress, leaves Toronto and her acting p... more »artner Jamie Ferrara to face the challenge of a theatrical career in New York. Depressed about his recent separation from his wife, Jamie decides he cannot urge Sherrill to stay and reluctantly lets her go.
While searching for her first jobs, Sherrill meets Drew Raymond, an attractive and successful advertising executive and hastily decides to marry him. It is not a happy match, and becomes less so when the book Sherrill has been writing for her own amusement is published. Much to her husband's dismay, the book becomes a bestseller. Even the birth of their son, Perry, cannot overcome her increasing unwillingness to settle for a loveless marriage and a subtle career competition with her husband. Divorced after a long custody struggle, Sherrill returns with Perry to Toronto to look for a lifestyle on her own terms.
Meanwhile, with Sherrill out of his life, Jamie becomes involved with a series of women. None is the dream partner he envisions. At a party he meets Anne Reynolds, a beautiful older woman fearful of age and loneliness. They become lovers until, in time, he no longer finds her challenging or desirable.
On location near Montreal, Jamie is tremendously attracted to Lucienne, the assistant director of the film he has been hired to do. Living with her, Jamie worries that his career is at a standstill, with a future of alarmingly foreseeable sameness, while her growing success makes her less respectful of his accomplishments and less available to him. Away on a film for three months, she becomes involved with someone else.
Another friend of Jamie's is Dene Whitmore, a young introverted widow who has returned to Toronto after four isolated years in New York. Through a chance meeting on an airplane, Dene has become a tenant in Anne's house. Jamie encourages Dene to pursue her talent as a photographer, and they become involved briefly. Remorseful about Anne, who is now on a self-destructive course, Dene and Jamie end their affair.
Happily settled in Toronto, Sherrill places the fateful telephone call that brings Jamie into her life once again. Each recognizes that their values have remained the same, but their life expectations have changed. As their friendship turns to love, Sherrill and Jamie must decide if they can begin a new life together.
In this wonderfully involved story of dreams and despair, lingering love, and hard-won success and self-discovery, Charlotte Vale Allen has written her most satisfying novel to date.« less