A midlife romance from novelist Jaffee (Recent History, 1988; Adult Education, 1981). Who ever said the seven-year itch was exclusively a male malady? There were discontented housewives long before Emma Bovary came on the scene, and there have been many since. Suzanne Miller is a case in point: a successful Chicago academic, she has intelligent children, a Volvo, a bright future as an up-and-coming Women's Studies scholar, and the fashion sense that comes of a year spent in Paris a long time ago. But France is the problem: While she was there, Suzanne had an affair with the father of the children she baby-sat, and she has never really recovered from it. Her marriage to childhood friend Barry Miller was an attempt to bounce back, but as the years draw on Suzanne finds it harder to keep her heart in it--especially when it comes to sex. ""Afterward, Suzanne had gone into the Italian tiled bathroom and turned the shower on full blast and wept because she knew she would have to sleep with this man for the rest of her life."" Then she meets Robert Parrish at her exercise class. Robert is a Texas banker, a real man who has survived an equally arid marriage and learned through his sorrow what compassion and tenderness are. When he and Susan fall in love, Susan finds the happiness that she hasn't known since her junior year abroad. It is an idyll--""A time without weather; they are hidden out, comfy, in love, learning about each other's needs and desires like explorers on a Polar mission""--but it can't last. The opposition of Suzanne's family, and Robert's, and all their friends isn't the half of it: Robert is dying! A Harlequin romance tarted up with literary references: as convincing as a little girl dressed up in her mother's lipstick and pearls.