NOSTALGIA by Heller McAlpin


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Romantic juvenilia--heavy on the watery, pseudo-airy dialogue--as lawyer Leslie Delorne (nÉe Henning), happily married to scriptwriter Claude, slowly figures out why she's so obsessed with Alex Knight, her college boyfriend (who, after six years, has re-entered her life). Claude is kind and thoughtful, exceptionally well-educated (both France and England); he keeps cold cucumber soup in the fridge. And sex is fine, too. But now Alex has come to Manhattan and has been pestering Leslie with calls at her office. And there are flashbacks to the college years--when Alex was a special excitement, with college-fountain frolics that almost led to consummation. Still, Alex seemed to ignore Leslie's warmth back then--so why, now that he's once again in the States after some years in Japan, is he bothering her again? And why is she having so much trouble telling Claude how she feels about a love which had ""gone through sextuple bypass surgery and still refused to flow?"" With Claude, Leslie sees that old Bette Davis flick, A Stolen Life (the plot is reviewed in detail); she broods on the matter of constancy in cinema and life. (Is a reunion with Alex ""renewed fantasy"" or simply ""unfinished business?"") And finally Alex lures Leslie into a nostalgic trip--back to the old campus--and they at last make love . . . and it's, well, over very fast . . . and somehow all loose ends are tied up, for both of them. (As Leslie explains to Claude: ""I just had to do it . . . play it out to the end."") Dotted with kollege kapers and pronouncements which could be murmured while sipping root beer through a straw (""Love is largely a matter of timing""): sophomoric romance, delivered in smooth vanilla-ice-cream style.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Scribners