Erasmus Cromwell-Smith II’s engaging literary tale The Equilibrist II provides a triumphant return to the halls of academia, where once again a beloved professor shares inspirational lectures filled with stories, poetry, and life lessons that ultimately reveal the omnipotent power of true love.
In this charming sequel, the rumpled, scholarly Brit Erasmus, who mesmerized students at a prestigious New England educational institution with existential wisdom absorbed from his childhood mentors, now is blissfully reunited with his college love, Victoria, who left him 40 years ago. This semester, he chooses to impart life lessons by revisiting the memorable early years of their budding relationship. “He wears the look of love” epitomizes the student commentary about Erasmus’ sudden transformation by this woman from his past.
From the auditorium venue to the couple’s shared campus home—complete with morning tea, Chesterfields, and the music of Ella and Armstrong—the atmosphere exudes an Old World feel. Often the couple’s intimate conversations inspire daily class addresses that weave poetic musings and recollections ignited by new friendships the couple has made throughout New England. Topics include gratitude, doubt, inner genius, sacrifice, and an artful circus analogy about mastering our individual performances in the big scheme of life.
Throughout, the dialogue is clear and easily accessible, although some conversations reflect the characters’ formality and decorum, as when Victoria responds to a poem she receives from Erasmus: “There is profound beauty and addictive wizardry in your words, my love.” The story moves easily between current times and the ’70s. Chapter headings and subtitles provide quick references. From New England to New York, with visits to bookshops, French boulangeries and rowing on the Charles River, the steady change-ups provide fluidity and interest.
While some may be averse to the story’s slight “Hallmark” bliss, at its core this is a magical work that recognizes the great possibility of life’s second chances. Those who appreciate such universal musings should seize the moment for this delightful read.