Lorna Mott Comes Home by Diane Johnson

I’m writing this review on the one-year anniversary of our first lockdowns and of my own boxing match with the coronavirus. When one ticks off the wrenching losses due to the pandemic, the weight of it all is crushing—the lives gone, hearts broken, the financial collapses for so many and the money strains for most … Well, I don’t have to do your doom-scrolling for you. You know.

So, it seems churlish to talk about mourning the loss of pleasure. But what about the relief and flooding happiness that accompanies its re-introduction? That is the state I found myself in while reading Lorna Mott Comes Home, the divine Diane Johnson’s latest propulsive novel—her 12th—a layered yet airy confection. I felt like someone awakened from a coma to the taste of chocolate or the look on my own children’s faces when they first encountered ice cream, a wonderment that something this delicious might pass this way again.