Another oddball fantasy from the author of Blackburn (1993), etc.; this time, thirtysomething cuddles up with Moonstruck to revamp The Little Mermaid. In Austin, Texas, widower Jack sits naked in the moonlight in order to summon his new lover, Lily, down from the moon. Understandably, the police are none too impressed, so Jack must phone from jail for help. His friends are all former lovers: sexy Halle, who enjoys a series of casual relationships with men; Katy, smart, self-assured in all things but her marriage to the nerdish Stephen; and beautiful Carolyn, involved with the handsome and much younger Artie. All agree that Jack needs help- -under every full moon, he strips off and waits for Lily—so they take him to Halle's country cabin, where Jack can moonbathe with impunity. At times they catch glimpses of Lily, whose claim to be a goddess—clawed feet, wings, strange powers, and all—might well be justified. Jack's quite content as long as he has Lily every month, but her influence rubs off on the others, too, throwing their personal lives into turmoil. Eventually, from visiting Jack so often, Lily's immortality is compromised; she breaks off the affair, vowing never to return. Will true love triumph? Only Jack's friends, all acting in concert, might possibly call Lily back. Light, eccentric, thoughtful, and endearing: Planet Denton's a weird place but well worth a visit.
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