THE MARMALADE MAN by Charlotte Vale Allen


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Ten sticky years--1970-1980--in the lives of a group of 30-ish, Toronto-based singles. Actor Jamie Ferrara, 33, leaves his non-simpatica wife Jane and their two boys, sleeps around in a discreet gentlemanly fashion, but is particularly attracted to singer Sherrill Westcott, ""a tiny gamine creature whose baritone voice was so startling."" Sherrill, however, booms off to New York for an acting career--which is detoured when she marries Drew Raymond, has a son, and publishes a wildly successful book; and when Drew can't hack Sherrill's career involvement, she divorces and returns to Toronto with son perry. Meanwhile, back in Toronto, Jamie is taking up with two new women: toy designer/photographer Dene Whitmore, who's nursing an old wound (her husband and sister, killed on a highway eight years before, had been having a heavy affair); and Dene's landlady Anne Reynolds, a handsome woman headed toward 50 who has an electric sensuality (Jamie was ""attracted to her seniority""). So Jamie's three women--including, by 1980, his now-forever love Sherrill--will eventually join him on location in Nova Scotia, where a near-fatal hotel fire brings the denouement to a roiling boil: Dene is prodded to accept the marriage proposal of Anne's bear-like nephew Charlie; Anne, in a funk ever since a violent one-night stand with a sadistic pick-up, is moved to look beyond the ravages of age to life's more enduring satisfactions; and Jamie, Sherrill, and Perry make a happy trio. Like Promises and Love Life--sturdy, hardworking suds with a few racy touches.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1981
Publisher: Dutton