Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in | 0 comments

An aging author and his wife are visited by a close friend from back east who they know is dying. After spending some cherished time together, they receive astonishing news. Their friend has been in a coma the last few days on the other side of the country and has just passed away.


ROBERT is a philosophical and intelligent author in his seventies. He lives in Los Angeles with his beloved wife CORDELIA. They share a deep, compassionate love for one another though she is more literal in her approach to religion than her husband. They receive some sad news. Robert’s old friend HERBIE, who lives back east, is dying. Robert and Herbie were friends when they were young. Herbie spent a frustrating lifetime as a politician, trying desperately to make a difference in the world. Robert is surprised late at night when he is visited by Herbie. He confides in Robert about his long life and his rocky relationship with his equally stubborn wife RUTH. The next evening, Robert and Herbie walk on the beach and discuss philosophy, their past, and the nature of life and humanity. They meet several mysterious and surreal characters, including MR. MORTIMER, a cynical antiques dealer, a rebellious young musician, and others. They are later joined by Cordelia and continue to encounter more unusual and ‘other worldly’ characters. Each of them reflects on their lives, their marriages, and their ultimate meaning. In a supernatural twist, Robert wakes up the next morning and discovers that Herbie has just died . back east, having spent the past two days in a coma. In one of his most personal novels, Robert Nathan uses his signature blend of fantasy and philosophy to examine universal questions about the nature and purpose of existence while simultaneously crafting a heartfelt and moving portrait of enduring love.

“The journey of which Robert Nathan writes in his poignant and beautiful novel, ‘The Summer Meadows’ is through life and death, the ultimate all-containing mystery. It is a wise and deep tale, bound to raise the deepest emotions, for it touches with poetic power every aspect of human experience, hope and fear, aspiration and outcome, love and friendship. Not a wasted word is in these pages, which is a hallmark of the poet turned master story teller.”

Robert Kirsch
Los Angeles Times