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All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
In 1899, Nicholas Van Tassel escapes from a fire in a New Hampshire hotel and sees Etna Bliss for the first time. He is immediately captivated by her and is determined to make her his wife at any cost. She finally agrees, even though she doesn't love him, but he believes that she will eventually come to that over time. His marriage doesn't develop the passion he wants, nor does his career at the local college. Even though she remains a dutiful wife, Nicholas takes desperate steps to save his marriage and his career and to achieve what he wants, and gets what he deserves. This latest novel by Anita Shreve (author of The Pilot's Wife) has received mixed reviews. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls it "one of Shreve's most accomplished novels."