Light YearsRead about another entry on the list.
James Salter, 1975
This sensual, desolate masterpiece includes an unsatisfactory holiday taken by the middle-aged narrator, estranged from his wife, with a recently acquired Italian lover, Lia, on the Tuscan coast in April. “The country they were passing through was not what he had expected; it was bare, industrial seacoast.” Low-season holidays often suit fiction best because off-peak equals unpredictable. This is a barren non-honeymoon; the hotel is “isolated and expensive” and in a chilly, dark, mosquito-ridden room, two single beds are pushed together to form a double – a good symbol for two people not converging as they should.
Light Years is one of Katie Roiphe's top three all-time best breakup books.