Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A MOMENT IN THE SUN by Ann Pinchot



Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1984
Publisher: Arbor House

The spiritual and temporal discomforts of a Norman Vincent Peale of a super-pastor--played for soap instead of satire, unfortunately, as a sprawling cast of rather dismal people revolves around Dr. Stephen Everett, author of the bestselling A Great Day is Coming: The Miracle of Faith. Stephen had made a big hit with the posh-suburban residents of Belfort, Conn., not only with his sincerity and good looks, but also with his sermons on self-improvement and the godliness of capitalistic enterprise. And Stephen's Institute of Religion and Mental Health, an adjunct to his Belfort Village Presbyterian Church, attracts vasts numbers of people (sometimes the wrong people) for counseling--with a staff that includes aging Dr. Birdsong, who twitters over Stephen's off-color jokes, and Dr. Polly Prentice, a bouncy little Hungarian sex therapist modeled on radio's Dr. Ruth. But Stephen himself has a sex problem: he's getting inconvenient and disturbing urges; his sex life with wife Verna is an embarrassment; he's often just too tired. (Thinks materialist Verna: ""That damn religion is ruining their sex life."") So, while being adored from afar by lovely young publisher Rosemary Magnus (who has a brief dalliance with a young ex-con/writer), Stephen is ripe for seduction by TV star Crystal Chelsea--who comes all the way from the Coast for a little counseling, to be restored by Stephen (in private audience). Still, Stephen remains loyal to his marriage, even if Verna is furious with him for not taking the coin-clinking road to riches, via TV evangelism; meanwhile, there are doings over at the biz-empire of Rosemary's dad Justin, featuring journalist Alla Missoni, a rape-victim of Justin's political protÉgÉ; Stephen suffers through board meetings, church-related press conferences, nightly errands of mercy. And finally Verna leaves, freeing Stephen from his afflictions--while cancer brings new romance (thanks to Dr. Polly) to the marriage of Justin and his dog-obsessed wife Melisande. Pallid domestic drama, on the daytime-serial level.