TRIO by Dorothy Baker
Kirkus Star


Email this review


With the success of her previous Young Man With A Horn, interest in this author's second novel should create a ready market. Here is the same holding power, the same tense pitch, the same clean prose style that creates a very special quality, but the type of story is a different thing. This is a novel of three people, one a clever characterization, two, less definite, but sympathetic, and the interreaction of the three begets an impact of high intensity. Pauline, brittle, charming, assured French professor at an anonymous university: Janet, frightened, evasive, all nerves, Pauline's protegee and working for a Ph.D.: and Ray, a student who has odd-jobbed all over the world. Janet falls in love with Ray but their marriage is blocked by a secret in her past. It is Pauline and her power over Janet that eventually forms the issue -- and the climax, as Janet tells Ray how her innocent, youthful admiration of Pauline led her into a lesbian relationship, which she grew to loathe but could not escape. Ray's help and Pauline's one decent act finally free Janet. Nothing essentially perverse, in spite of the theme, and an even more human drama, with great narrative subtlety. Perhaps not as fine as the previous book, but provocative.

ISBN: 0837196477
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin