Third installment in Father Greeley’s ongoing O’Malley family saga begun in Chicago with A Midwinter’s Tale (1998) and Younger Than Springtime (1999). In the last volume, Chuckie O’Malley was tossed out of Notre Dame, following WWII, for having a picture of Rosemarie Clancy in a two-piece swimsuit, for reading Joyce’s Ulysses, and for having beer under his bed. And back in book one, when they were kids, he saved Rosemarie from drowning. Now Chuckie and Rosemarie both go to the University of Chicago, he to be an accountant, and she, in part, to forget her psychopathic father and alcoholic mother (who has recently died from a fall down the cellar stairs). Chuckie and Rosemarie plan to be “just friends,” but the reader knows that hormonally—and from the title—the notion of mere friendship is foredoomed. Chuckie becomes an artistic photographer, Rosemarie his sometime model (capturing her doing a cartwheel he sees “a woman’s soul transparent in her body”). Later, she's recovering from a heavy bottle problem herself, seeing a shrink, and with the death of her father becomes a wealthy woman.
Snappy storytelling but a plain-style not for the ages.