Special feature: This PerfectBound e-book contains "Enchanted Places," Joyce Carol Oates's essay about the rooms we live in--especially selected for the e-book by the author.A darkly comic novel from the author of "Blonde" and "We Were the Mulvaneys."In Salthill-on-Hudson, a half-hour train ride from Manhattan, everyone is rich, beautiful, and--though they look muich younger--middle-aged. But when Adam Berendt, a charismatic, mysterious sculptor, dies suddenly in a brash act of heroism, shock waves rock the town.But who was Adam Berendt? Was he in fact a hero, or someone more flawed and human? His loss and the rumors that surface of his possible lovers plunge his friends into grief, confusion, and self-reflection. The women who loved Adam find themselves engaging in life-altering romantic adventures. The men who were Adam's closest friends become utterly transformed in his absence. Adam's lawyer, Roger Cavanagh, who has broken the law for Adam's sake, becomes invovled with an elusive and perhaps treacherous young woman. Marina Troy exiles herself to fulfill a wish Adam had made for her. Lionel Hoffmann sets out, unwisely but with great hope, to recapture his lost youth after a lifetime of soulless financial success, even as his wife, Camille, discovers an unspeakable joy close to home. Augusta Cutler, a hitherto sensous, unreflective woman, defiantly endeavors to solve the mystery of Adam's origins, even if ti means losing her marriage and family."Middle Age: A Romance" is an intimately drawn, richly sympathetic, yet unsparingly comic portrait of the affluent class at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Incisive, insightful, and never predictable, it's a uniquely American saga of self-determination and identity from one of our finest writers of contemporary fiction.