"A writer whose work is worthy of prizes" (Los Angeles Times Book Review), Larry Watson's intricate human landscapes and virtuosic ruminations on the American West have made him one of today's most acclaimed authors of contemporary fiction. Now, in a captivating departure, he unveils a portrait of faith, obsession, and enduring love -- and a work of greater tenderness than anything he has yet written.


In the summer of 1955 I met Laura Coe Pettit, and the moment of that meeting was the one from which I began a measurement of time. Clocks and calendars can try to convince us that time always passes in equal measure, but we know better. Our thirty-fifth summer passes five times faster than our seventh, and for years my life speeded up or slowed down according to my meetings with or departures from Laura.

Love captures Paul Finley in, of all places, his own bedroom -- literally waking him from his dreams. The night he discovers Laura Pettit standing at his windowsill, Paul is eleven years old, a boy naturally inclined toward seriousness, precociously adept at the art of watching the world without being watched. Laura is twenty-two, a fiercely passionate and independent poet already experiencing the first flickers of fame, a beautiful woman on the brink of seducing Paul's father. No matter; Paul is smitten. When she leaves him to rejoin the grown-ups' party downstairs, Laura issues Paul a wholly impossible command, one that will haunt and consume both of them for the rest of their lives: "Forget me."

Laying bare the inner life of one man during the course of nearly four decades, Larry Watson delivers a riveting treatise on the excruciating power of love -- and two of the most remarkable characters in recent American literature. Infused with breathtaking pathos and delicate grace, Laura is an extraordinary triumph of the novelist's art.

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By Julie (Union Grove, WI) · ★★☆☆☆ · March 22, 2009
On my Larry Watson kick after re-reading Montana 1948 and meeting the author and his lovely wife, Susan.

After reading this, I'm done with my Larry Watson kick. What a disappointment! This is soft porn Harlequin romance for men. The resolution to the main character's lifelong obsession with his fa... ...more
By Cyndy · ★★★★☆ · May 20, 2011
Many men have an over-riding love to whom they compare all others for the rest of their lives. They compare all reality against the precedent set, usually by their mothers. But what if that one over-riding love wasn't a man's mother, but instead, someone outside the family? Someone without the Oe... ...more
By Mitchell (The United States) · ★★★★★ · February 23, 2012

by Larry Watson

It is not often these days that I find a book that I literally can't put down, but this

was one of those rare novels. Larry Watson's novel about a boy obsessed with

an older woman is a most compelling read and takes us on a very interesting ride

through the psyche of the na... ...more
By Jamie (Los Angeles, CA) · ★★★★☆ · March 05, 2009
I miss Hastings. Growing up, this became the movie rental spot of choice, so I frequently wound up there on Friday nights with my family. My brother bought CDs, my mom looked for musicals on tape and I would go through the novels in hardback--starting at the front, and working my way to the class... ...more
By Kate (New York, NY) · ★★★☆☆ · August 22, 2008
Watson writes about characters who never really connect, or connect in ways that are too profound to be anything but shallow. (If that makes any sense at all, which I think it may not.) In this story, it's a little hard to believe the main character suffers under a lifelong obsession with an olde... ...more
By Renee (The United States) · September 05, 2014
Best part of this book was when it ended. Terrible, just terrible ...more
By Pris (The United States) · ★★★★☆ · June 27, 2012
This book was so good and I enjoyed reading it so much that I was afraid the ending would be disappointing. It wasn't. ...more
By Heather (The United States) · ★★★★★ · June 26, 2012
A great character novel by my favorite author, Larry Watson. ...more