Lightman treads on thin ice here. A divorced, middle-aged teacher, Charles, facing the 30th reunion of his college class, reminisces about a college love affair with a young and capricious ballerina, Juliana. The dancer, it turns out, was also sleeping with a poetry professor, smirching Charles’ early notions of romance.
The narrative is played out mostly in Charles’ melancholy memory, which Lightman inhabits beautifully. Still, these are the bittersweet voyages of a 52-year-old professor. They don’t exactly go where no man has gone before.