LOVE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS by Allen Hannay

LOVE AND OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A cowlick, cut-up first novel set in the Texas boondocks--about the cheerful affair between a 35-year-old RN and a 19-year-old honor student. Bubber Drumm and divorced Rose Butts first meet under a bombardment of recently sprayed caterpillars in Bubber's car outside the dilapidated Butts preserve: Bubber's original interest is centered on the bosom of Rose's daughter Shirley, but he is soon hitting it off politely with Rose, who's ""red haired, green eyed, very Irish, and a little drunk."" And eventually the two are headed for an idyllic summer--while there are mixed reactions from Bubber's Dad (who runs a combination gas station/serpentarium); from Rose's disreputable ex-husband Lonny, who lives with floozies in L.A.; and from Shirley, who--before she joins her father for the summer--indicates her displeasure by secretly perforating Rose's essential contraceptive device. The lovers are unaware of this sabotage, however: Rose gives up hootch for jogging; Bubber nearly loses an ear in the whoopup on ""Round-up Day""; a parade is churned into rout by Bubber's roaring pet tigercub Bengal; and there's a term in college with neanderthal football coaches and an illiterate roommate who likes to pound his head with books. But then Rose indeed becomes pregnant, raising the predictable questions--Should she abort? Should they marry? Will Shirley take responsibility for what she did?--and the equally predictable, sentimental-yet-realistic answers. All in all, despite some un-teenagery sententiousness from Bubber and some juvenile anatomy/sex snickering: a warm-hearted and pleasantly noisy romance-with-farce.

Pub Date: May 21st, 1982
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown