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Cheever's last novel is a fable set in a village so idyllic it has no fast-food outlet and having as its protagonist an old man, Lemuel Sears, who still has it in him to fall wildly in love with strangers of both sexes. But Sears's paradise is threatened; the pond he loves is being fouled by unscrupulous polluters. In Cheever's accomplished hands the battle between an elderly romantic and the monstrous aspects of late-20th-century civilization becomes something ribald, poignant, and ineffably joyful.