Phillip’s insular life borders on self-imposed exile. Committed to solitude in his centuries-old New Hampshire house until he finishes the book that will redeem his lifelong aspirations, he nonetheless accepts a visit from his young cousin, Jennie out of an ancient fondness for her mother.
Jennie’s presence is at first unsettling. then disturbing as the two become increasingly attached. Their unfolding intimacy is seen through the complex perspectives of nine other people, including a Civil War fighter and character in the Phillip’s novel, whose experience of war’s horrors is eerily cast against the lovers’ relationship, and a long-dead resident of the house, who seeks only to protect them. (Soho, 1996)
Binstock writes masterful duets: intricate, knowing, and suspenseful …. His newest psychological drama portrays a cast of seemingly isolated characters who find themselves caught in a dangerous web of desire…. Ultimately, Binstock’s subtly gothic tale reminds us of the fragility of reason and the fleetingness of peace. — Booklist
Private history and public memory, ethereal human beings and lustful, living ghosts vie for space on the page and in Uncle Phillip’s heart. Elegant … subtle … haunting. – Kate Phillips, author of White Rabbit
The Soldier is distinguished by the author’s profound ability to make clear those aspects of being human that are so often only partially apprehended… a book of endless and deeply satisfying surprises. – Craig Nova, author of The Good Son and All the Dead Yale Men
R.C. Binstock has once again written a book that explores the depth of human passion and possibility with remarkable insight and tenderness. Emotionally blocked and embittered, the writer Phillip has cloistered himself to avoid further injury from the world, and perhaps to avoid burdening others with his pain. But in a gesture that surprises even himself, he opens the door to a troubled, young woman and offers her refuge and companionship, things he had thought himself no longer capable of giving. The two begin a sensual dance, grounded in need, but drawing them into a dangerous territory beyond society’s limits and their own. THE SOLDIER takes the reader on a journey into the deepest wells of feeling and to the boundaries of the self…. Breathtaking prose and an unforgettable story. – Amazon.com reviewer