It started as a dream vacation in Spain, with Fay and Paul Agarra enjoying all the delights of a European holiday. A respected New York City judge, Paul has always been the man Fay can rely on, no matter what. When he inexplicably disappears from a Barcelona street corner, Fay knows something is terribly wrong. Once reunited, Paul shrugs off the episode as a simple misunderstanding—but Fay suspects her almost perfect life has taken a dark and sudden turn.
Soon there are more signs that Paul is beginning to change. Bouts of forgetfulness lead to mistakes in the courtroom. Simple tasks cause unexplainable outbursts of anger. Fay’s worst suspicions are realized when she learns her husband—her rock, her love, her everything—is succumbing to the ravages of dementia.
As her husband transforms before her very eyes, Fay copes with her fears by retreating into a fantasy life filled with promise instead of pain. In Fay’s invented world, she imagines herself living a glamorous life free from heartache, with a handsome neighbor she barely knows rescuing her from a future she can’t accept.
My Thoughts: From the beginning of Left: A Love Story, we alternate between fantasy and reality. Fay’s comfortable and predictable life is changing, and she takes flights of fancy, mostly involving a beautiful apartment building nearby, where she goes to watch and imagine a perfect life within its gorgeous walls.
The experiences on their trip to Spain were terrifying to Fay, especially since the husband she had always counted on suddenly turned different. Seemingly uncaring. Afterwards, she realizes that nothing would ever be the same again.
However, she has trouble getting Paul’s doctor, his son, or even his legal assistant to listen when she expresses her concerns. Feeling dismissed and isolated, her daily walks take her more often to the “fantasy building.”
How did a traumatic event change everything forever? Why did others finally acknowledge her concerns, but act as if she were derelict in her duty not to have noticed sooner? I really disliked Paul’s primary physician and his son. But soon, they all went on with their lives…and Fay is left to deal with her new reality. A sad and poignant story, this one earned 4.5 stars.