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Three Stages of Amazement by Carol Edgarian
Three Stages of Amazement is set in the economic turmoil after Obama's election. Lena Rusch and Charlie Pepper are a married couple in their 40s. Lena has given up her career to allow Charlie to pursue his start-up company perfecting robotic surgical equipment. Charlie has already burned through the money from his initial investors, and with the economy in crisis, finding new money is proving impossible. To stave off financial ruin, he goes to visit Cal, a manipulative venture capitalist and Lena's hated uncle. Charlie does so without telling Lena. Charlie's long hours away from home and a perpetually sick child leave Lena feeling isolated and without help. She is tempted by an old lover who offers the attention Charlie can't deliver. Carol Edgarian's novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Associated Press saying, "Edgarian is an exceptionally gifted and generous storyteller, able to dig deep underneath the bedrock of human connection to get at what we mean when we don't say what we mean, and how we cope with that point in our lives when it might be time to compromise for what we can still accomplish."