A deep, rich friendship develops over many years between acclaimed painter Cassie Jugmaker and theatrical impresario Leo Berger Levin. As a colourful array of girlfriends moves through Cassie's life, and a number of brilliant men become Leo's lovers, they find they need each other just as much as they need their romantic partners.
Then they meet the mysterious street performer who will change both their lives: The Shakespeare Lady, at once comical and eerie. She recites passages from Hamlet for small change and bewitches all who see her. She becomes the inspiration for Cassie's most masterful cycle of paintings - but the more Cassie and Leo get to know her, the less they comprehend her.
beautifully written poignant story of a large group of creative friends. it wasnt until i was nearing the end that I realized Waterhouse might be compared favorably to Dickins. there are long passages in the middle that were so sad, I wanted to cry, the characters so realistic that I loved many of them. I'll have to listen to this 10 hour epic again soon.