LOVE BITES by Freda Garmaise

LOVE BITES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

DivorcÉe humor with a few satiric high spots and an overall food motif--as smarty-pants narrator Sheba (nÉe Sheila) Williams, semi-chubby Toronto TV-newswoman, carries on a sweet-and-sour affair with workaholic caterer Teddy Nudelman. Lonely divorcÉe Sheba (Brooklyn-born, half-Jewish, mother of little Kitty) is really after someone chic and sexy when she dons her Moroccan shepherd's cloak and attends a party given by celebrity-addict Olive; but she winds up instead (and in bed) with the party's caterer-brusque, graceless, super-cook Teddy. . . who, unlike ex-hubby Ken, ""liked a girl to eat."" Sheba is sort of charmed. But she's also worried--about Teddy's vulgarity (""How could I let anyone into my life who used expressions like 'chicken surprise'?"") and about her weight (""Virginia Woolf. . . . She always seemed to be eating starch. . . . How did she stay thin?""). Happily, however, thanks to Teddy's lovemaking and high-protein leftovers, Sheba loses weight; she even goes along with Teddy to a job (a Slimmers, Inc. banquet); and she dreams of writing a Teddy-and-Sheba celebrity-caterer memoir (with photo captions like ""Sir Larry and I discover a common love of lox""). But there are flies in this soup of love: Sheba's TV-station rival, svelte jet-setter Lucette, temporarily lures Teddy away with gourmet talk; and, more fundamentally, there is Teddy's lack of interest in Sheba's career, plus her insensitivity to the esthetic side of food (a colorful paella reminds her of her mother ""decorating butterscotch instant pudding with lifesavers""). So, at the close, Sheba is heading off to N.Y. with hopes of finding both stardom and Mr. Right. . . . An essentially thin, familiar story--and Sheba herself is a bit too much of the superficial standup comic to engage your deeper feelings. But, thanks to satirical sidetrips into trendy cults and artsy documentaries and TV hack-writing (""your kosher butcher. . . write it for Lorne Greene. He's Jewish and Canadian""), it's a mildly amusing diversion-with quite a few whipsmart, up-to-date jokes scattered through the more predictable overweight/man-hungry/Jewish-mother routines.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Kenan/Simon & Schuster