NINA UPSTAIRS by Beverly Gasner


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A bauble, to be sure, but this young, cheeky, chic account of an affair, from the rapture of the forward view to the survival sadness after, is ineffably appealing. Nina, who is just past twenty, and who sounds as if she could look like hirley MacLaine, has a job as a copywriter in a New York City department store. She has just broken her engagement to Robert, a snob, who ""suffered his West Side address like a slipping denture,"" when she meets Julien Dennis, a buyer. Julien s thirty five; he is also married; he has had to give up writing his book in order to pay the bills for a wife who has had a long-term breakdown; and he really doesn't want to get involved. Well, from the first weeks which slip away into months that almost begin to feel like a marriage (except- for those fear-flecked reminders), to the end which has been clear from the beginning, this tells one of the oldest stories in the world with a touch just fresh enough to make it seem as if had never happened before...The backgrounds are very nice, from a vacation on a beach on Long Island to the department store where- for a time- Nina sits upstairs from Julien. There's no need to comparison shop; you won't find anything else as attractive in terms of a disarming diversion.

Publisher: Knopf