By Nina Burleigh Sue Corbett EMILY CHENOWETH LEE AITKEN and Joanne Kaufman
Updated October 02, 2006 12:00 PM

By Brian Morton



A literary theft, a death and the sparking of desire make for a tumultuous year in the lives of four New Yorkers fumbling toward belated self-discovery. Thanks to moderate fame (and Viagra), novelist Adam Weller is relishing a young girlfriend, while Eleanor, his ex-wife, is haltingly seeking a sense of purpose. Their daughter, grad student Maud, is waking to life outside the mind with the help of a man mourning a lost child. In this polished, affecting novel, their stories intertwine and uplift: As Maud, the book’s tender heart, reflects, striving is “the law of life.”