THE SONS OF SAINTLY WOMEN by Bernard Packer

THE SONS OF SAINTLY WOMEN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The life and loves of Jack Ritter, an undergrad at UCLA in the Fifties who's subject to fits of existential ache and wanderlust--but mostly of just plain lust. First there's good-girl Nancy, an ex-nurse with whom Jack is literally thrown together during a vacation-week Acapulco earthquake. Nancy is sexy--but only willing to go to the Fifties limits (unremovable girdles play a large part in Jack's life). Simultaneous with her, though, is Sherri, who's far more sexually available--but Jack must pay the price of putting up with her brilliant yet very taxing neuroticism. Later will also come Nina the tease--plus Jill, the hard-boiled waitress/hooker with a daughter who's going blind. But, oddly, for all Ritter's amorous busyness, the best scene here has nothing to do with sex: Jack, with best-pal Calvin, waiters at a catered Jewish-Swedish wedding in Los Angeles--a raucous, disaster-prone event that Packer (Caro, The Second Death of Samuel Auer) lets fly in a fizzy, ever-escalating manner. This uncharacteristic sequence, in fact, makes you wish that the rest of the book had more of these endearing high spirits. For the most part, unfortunately, it's a routine, memoir-like serving of sexual ping-pong--with a smart-alecky tone that becomes increasingly unlikable.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1981
Publisher: Atheneum