ANNER WITH A STRANGE DEVICE by Arona McHugh

ANNER WITH A STRANGE DEVICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This long walk which begins on the Left Bank of the Charles, takes in Harvard and then most of Boston and its environs- Back Bay to lower class, is, for its first half (a novel in itself) spattered with some contemporary talk- Hemingway and Joyce, Renoir and Draque, jazz and psychiatry, and the postwar perplex- who you are and what you want to be. Engaging in it are a number of surviving casualties in the late '40's, some of whom had known each other before: Michael, studying law, writing on the side, Dudley Brimmer, swerving between alcohol and his analyst; Matthew Berman, a young doctor; Deborah, a prim untouchable. But when the story really settles down, it is to the relationship between Sally Brimmer Mayhew (who had loved her cousin, married another, both dead) and Saul Berman, a one-legged, ex-boxer, with a crude, muscular appeal. Sally, who has class, and Saul, have nothing in common except an aroused and unappeasable desire for each other. They spend a month on a beach and/or bed together, and finally Saul, knowing she won't marry him, ""knocks her up"" deliberately. The impossible, irresistible attraction does not subside, and even Sally's abortion of the child he wants does not kill it off altogether....Mrs. McHugh's first novel, which is a rather surprising Literary Guild selection, has a certain biological drive and there's some prodigal sex plummeting from page to page.

Pub Date: March 6th, 1964
Publisher: Doubleday