A slender first novel chronicles—in romantic European settings—the life of a young man undone by his parents' divorce. Not only is there the divorce, but Bob's jerk of a father is refusing to pay for his son to continue at Webster, a private college in Maine. This is deeply depressing news, and Bob, in Europe to work with other Websterites at various tennis tournaments, starts drinking heavily. On the way to Rome, he's thrown together with co-worker and fellow student Linda. At first he behaves like a complete boor, but Linda, the archetypical forgiving woman, is soon standing by her man. Bob is attracted to Linda, though he feels he's an inadequate slob and not worthy of her. Linda perseveres, seeing him through a nasty hangover, a couple of barroom brawls, etc. Eventually, they go to Athens, where they become lovers. And Bob can't believe his luck. After all, ``depression is not something to be taken lightly—it is a force of deceptive power.'' Linda remains loving and understanding whether in a tent on an island or in the bedroom of a country inn. The idyll soon ends, however. The two vow to keep in touch, but Bob starts drinking as soon as Linda's flight leaves. Linda is pulling for him, though, and there's the suggestion that he may still get his life together. Angst lite.
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