RISKING LOVE by Doris Orgel
Kirkus Star


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For the mature reader undaunted by a story which unfolds in psychotherapy sessions, this smartly conceived novel is highly recommended. Orgel has made her eighteen-year-old heroine, Dinah Moskowitz, an attractive person with a seemingly minor problem and her psychotherapist a strong, genuinely helpful person, easily as appealing as her counterpart in Ordinary People. Mr. Moskowitz has arranged for the initial consultation after Dinah announces plans to leave college and follow biologist boyfriend Gray to his job in the Everglades. As Dinah and Dr. Schneck discuss what is happening and what her inclination might mean, Orgel skillfully moves from present to past and back again, from Dinah to the important others in her life, from the session's conversations to current circumstances: Gray's beluga whale project, Dad's career in TV commercials, Dinah's challenging course work, and--the key to much of the conflict--her mother's unsettling distance since a divorce eight years before. As Dinah looks over these various facets of her life, Orgel unobtrusively puts in context many aspects of therapy, such as the sensitivity of some subjects (sex, fees), associations to apparent trivia, or the feeling that nothing is happening; but the therapy process never dominates the narrative, for Dinah is a dynamic figure, not a case history. Readers will like Dinah's imperfect but very stable romance, appreciate her confusions and tentativeness, and feel comfortable with the reasonable, unforced conclusion (which comes some time after those 50-minute hours). A fine treatment.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Dial