A QUIET DRINK by Deborah Moggach


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The muzzier fringes of the Women's Lib movement slap into the apparent contentments of three suburban London couples--vacuous folks who muddle about trying to find themselves, gabbing glossily all the way. Claudia, a magazine exec, has been left by passive husband Adrian for Beth--who's ""comfortable"" doing small domestic things (Claudia made Adrian feel ""redundant""). Beautiful little June, on the other hand, doesn't ever do anything except clean and cook--which infuriates rapidly cooling hubby Steve, a vigorous cosmetics salesman whose products include ""Liberesse"" (the ads feature a woman suited up in combat gear); eventually, however, June decides to educate herself and, under the tutelage of prim Mr. Alistair Poultney at the library, she doggedly pokes into the classics. And finally there's Verity and Wil, who've gone back to the basic life, raising children (who love junk food)--and vegetables amid scant rural scenery and cold mud. The three couples interact a bit--dreary bounder Wil propositions Claudia, who's having an odd flirtation with enigmatic lodger Alistair (June's librarian!)--and at the close there's a grand confrontation: June, who falls off a library ladder, is escorted home by Alistair to confront a nude Steve-and-Claudia, who've ""discovered"" one another; Verity and Claudia share the rural digs, booting Wil; Steve, thanks to a Save-the-Whales group, decides not to peddle whale-product cosmetics; and little June ends up doing the combat-gear modeling for ""Liberesse."" Cheerful nips of social comedy from trendy old England, which just seems to be catching up with some already-dated US preoccupations.

Pub Date: Jan. 2nd, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's