THE DIVER'S TOMB by Ann Deagon


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Connie Nolan, on money inherited after her mother's death, visits Athens alone: a 40-ish woman striking out for the first time into the territory of independence. Back home are Connie's grown daughters and her architect-husband Clifford--who seems, both emotionally and physically, a satisfactory mate. But in Athens Connie knows only old friend Janice--who's divorced, living with teenage daughter Jill, and heavy into both lesbianism and pornographic modeling. So Connie finds a prolonged stay with Janice an unappetizing prospect. And perhaps that partly explains why she's so receptive to the advances of a man--a Greek sailor named Alki (Alcibiades)--whose dog jumps against her in the street. The affair with Alki proceeds swiftly past courtship; it's mobile (they take a trip south together) and invested with a frank erotic energy (mostly Connie's) that first-novelist Deagon handles invigoratingly. But then Greek destiny knocks with a double rap: in the apartment where Alki takes Connie for their trysts, she sees evidence that a family, including children, has recently and hurriedly moved out; she also discovers a small lump beneath one breast; and the idyll then comes to a close. Deagon, writing tightly, jams a bit too much in: Clifford, in a letter that reaches Athens, confesses infidelities and manfully suggests enlightened separation and divorce--bringing up too many issues and conflicts for this small novel to handle. Still, a solid debut: intelligent, leanly sexy, and consistently credible.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's