SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF MAINE by Ann Hood

SOMEWHERE OFF THE COAST OF MAINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the 80's to the 60's and back again in this bland, poorly organized first novel that sets the silly adolescent traumas of two Contemporary teen-age girls against the backdrop of their mothers' shared past. Sparrow's mom, Suzanne, a fast-track yuppie investment counselor, refuses to discuss her 14-year-old daughter's illegitimate origins in her own hippie past. While Sparrow mopes in a Boston high-rise, Rebekah Morgan sulks in western Mass.; her vegetarian, pot-throwing parents don't sympathize with her desire to conform--an impulse that leads her to steal money for a much wanted nose job. Rebekah's best friend, Henry, a smart but gawky, Brown-bound boy, has adored her ever since their families lived together on a farm during the 70's, but she finds his attentions embarrassing. Cut to the 60's: it turns out that Henry's mother, Claudia, and Rebekah's mother, Elizabeth, and Suzanne were students together at an unnamed college in Maine. A series of vignettes reveals that square Suzanne shed her inhibitions under the influence of free-spirited Claudia and Earth Mother Elizabeth. While Elizabeth found true love, and Claudia true lust, Suzanne found herself knocked-up. After college, Claudia clings to her memories of the 60's until her first son drowns, and she descends into madness. Happily married Elizabeth lives the ""pure life"" she's always aspired to until cancer intrudes on her bliss. Suzanne gets her MBA and succeeds at business despite the difficulty of raising a daughter alone. In the final episode of this tear-jerky mess, Sparrow hunts down her father (a hippie poet), is disabused of more than one fantasy, and realizes that her mother's not simply the craven materialist she seems to be. Stiff dialogue and lackluster prose in the service of contemporary historical clichÉs.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1987
ISBN: 0393332357
Publisher: Bantam