EVERY DAY by Elizabeth Richards


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 A distinctive distinction, with a debut story from Richards that renews one's faith in the novel's possibilities. In Riverdale, ghostwriter Leigh Adelman, happily married for 14 years and the mother of three, gets a postcard from Jim Fowler, the filmmaker who, when she was in her teens, seduced and abandoned her, leaving her pregnant. Fowler is now teaching in the East Village and wants to see her; when she visits, she finds him crippled by Lou Gehrig's disease, with not long to live. Fowler is in fact the father of her 14-year-old son, Isaac, and old feelings revive: she beds him there and then. Her secret, however, is short-lived. Husband Simon confronts her furiously with the evidence of her betrayal: She'd disrupt their home for a roll in the hay! Isaac and younger daughter Jane are also bitter. Cast out, Leigh takes her toddler, Daisy, and goes home to mother. Neither her parents nor Simon's, nor any of her friends, understand why she's done such a stupid thing. Well, she says, her life was too settled and needed shaking up. Her favorite movie, Truffaut's Jules et Jim, about a liberated woman who shuttles between her husband and her lover, is her template. She's also writing a book about liberated women through history. Then, without giving in, Simon allows Leigh to return to separate beds in their house, although she still sleeps on and off with her dying lover, and eventually with her husband as well. Gradually, Isaac's grudging interest in his birth father, and Simon's growth in understanding, allow for all concerned to meet at a Little League baseball game. As Fowler's condition worsens, Simon agrees to have the now wheelchair-bound lover (or mostly ex-) moved to a hospital bed in their own home. Dialogue from heaven, with prose combed of all banalities. Swift and gripping. (Film rights to Warner Brothers)

Pub Date: March 13th, 1997
ISBN: 0-671-00155-8
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1997