Grey Tigrett discovers Elba under different circumstances and in another century. Its 1985: hes on a college graduation trip, a vacation on which he hopes to transfer his sexual desire from Pete, his best friend, to Miriam, his girlfriend. Nothing goes as planned. A mishap sidetracks them to Elba where Greys sexual desire is indeed transferrednot to Miriam but to Antonio, a married Italian man who opens his home to the threesome when they cant find a hotel room. To avoid facing the implication of his actions, Grey retreats to the exile of his dreamy, analytic mind.
Fifteen years later Grey is a successful computer sales executive with a longtime boyfriend, living in New Yorks trendy meatpacking district. On paper he has it all, but in truth he is more disabled than ever. Grey and Scott have constructed a fabulous life that is totally alien to Grey, and to escape it he withdraws further into himself. In his rationalized world he is emotionally impotent, yet he becomes intrigued with a few people outside his social circlea teenager who walks his dog, an addict who frequents his stoop, and his Gen-Y temp secretary who refuses a permanent positionand fantasizes them safe role models of an engaged, vicarious life.
During an annual sales conference cruise, the Mediterranean reawakens Grey. He disrupts the comforting predictability of his business life by challenging his boss and opening up to a colleague, something he hasnt done since college. When a storm redirects the ship to Elba, a second unexpected adventure on the island requires that Grey retrace his steps and consider the repercussions of fifteen years prior.
After his return to New York, three pivotal events transform the lives of his vicarious trio and destroy Greys psychological safety net. Rather than meeting Scott for their millennium vacation, Grey disappears to Elba. While on this third visit, Grey gets the opportunity to recast his life. On the island he forges new relationships with ties to the past that only he can understand. The compelling resolution of his journey is as unpredictable as it is inspiring.
In the endlike Napoleon before himGrey is forced to examine the depths of his exile. For both men, Elba marks a critical turning point from which they either exhaust or draw their power....Continua