THE HANDSOME MAN by Elissa Haden Guest


Email this review


She spots him here and there in her Greenwich Village neighborhood, dubs him the Handsome Man (HM, in the notebook file she and best friend Angela keep on him), imagines herself with him in all sorts of romantic situations, then meets him in the Cafe Reggio where he admires her cap, says he's a professional photographer, and makes a date to take her picture. Palpitations! There are more meetings, as one of the pictures HM takes of her is bought by an ad agency, but they are all brief and all uneventful till the end, when she rushes to him in tears and receives with his comfort a kiss that surprises them both. By this time her fantasies about the HM are mixed with worries about her parents, who seem to be having marital problems. Now they announce plans to take a summer ""breather"" from each other, and she must go off to Cape Cod with her mother--hence the tears. A bittersweet goodbye, then, to the handsome man. Alex's first-person telling and her conversations with Angela are one-dimensional but believable, and as the story goes on she becomes something more than a well-off 14-year-old with a silly crush. Guest manages to sympathize and appeal to--with-out catering to--the junior-high daydreamer.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1981
Publisher: Four Winds