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The Limit — Rosalind Belben

The Limit — Rosalind Belben


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A brief, potent, and audaciously written novel about a husband caring for his dying wife, and the shifting nature of their relationship as the end approaches.


Anna has married an Italian seaman, Ilario. Beginning--and ending--at a point shortly before her death, the story told in The Limit draws upon her past and his future to focus attention, with increasing intensity, along the lines of narrowing perspective. In each chapter, dying becomes an appraisal of memory, a confession, perhaps, of secrets shared and not shared. In the ten years of the couple's marriage, the limits of devotion had somehow to be reached. And yet, when Anna can no longer speak, appears to understand nothing, Ilario feels at his closest to her: Anna, so old, ill, and wasted, is a child again.

The Limit, inevitably, is not about dying, but living. To read it is to have one's perception and humanity heightened.

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