Florida Library Association Review of Love and Other Delusions

Love and Other Delusions
Love and Other Delusions is Larry Baker’s newest contribution
to Florida fiction, which includes The Flamingo Rising
(1997) and A Good Man (2009). Baker lives in Iowa City and
is honored on the Iowa Literary Walk of Fame, but he keeps
coming back to St. Augustine as the setting for his novels.
Recently Baker and I corresponded about St. Augustine.
He said: “I lived there. I like the geography of the setting,
the significance of it being the oldest city in America. All
fiction merely retells old stories. I like the idea of the town
in itself representing the history of which we are all a part.
It being close to the ocean is a bonus too.”
Love and Other Delusions is the story of Alice and her
therapist, Kathy. Alice talks and Kathy listens. Alice is a
needy woman with Peter, a “lovely husband” and Danny, an
eighteen-year-old-student she began an affair with when
she was a community college instructor.
Baker continues his attraction to creating mysterious
female characters. He said: “I start with a basic dilemma for
a character, in this case: adultery. Is adultery a greater sin
for a woman than a man? There are all sorts of questions
that are more interesting with a woman as the main character.
And since adultery requires deceit, the withholding of
the truth, doesn’t that automatically make the relationship a
mystery? In adultery, somebody has to hide something. In
fiction, the writer is hiding information from the reader, to
be slowly revealed, like in life.”
Yes, Baker fans, this is the third Florida novel with a
character named Alice. Baker explained that this Alice in not
the same Alice in the two previous Florida novels. Baker
promises: “No more Alice’s for me.” And, Baker reinvents his
movie theater story lines from his previous novels with
Danny who works at the Centre Theatre.
Baker’s latest is a required purchase for all Florida book
collections. It is available directly from the publisher at
http://www.icecubepress.com/.