THE RETREAT by Henry Denker

THE RETREAT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Didactic novelist Denker (Kinkaid; Judge Spencer Dissents; Robert, My Son; The Choice) takes a detailed look at the Palm Springs approach to detoxificaton. Beautiful, talented, alcoholic Broadway star Kitzi Mills doesn't really want to take the cure, but her closest associates have told her that they've taken all they're going to take, so she caves in and flies out to Palm Springs in the company of her agent and former lover Marvin Morse. Morse is also the father of Kitzi's daughter Alice, but he married a publicist years ago when Kitzi seemed to have succumbed to the unpleasant charms of an elderly Hollywood director. Kitzi checks in to The Retreat, which seems to be pretty much like Betty Ford's celebrity sanitarium, but she reacts badly to the required participation in group therapy. There's a lot she doesn't want to tell, and she finds the endless gut-spilling most trying. Eventually, however, she begins to respond to individuals in the group--particularly to an addicted basketball star and a crusty old reporter whose cure is interrupted by a diagnosis of lung cancer. It takes the full four weeks for Kitzi to get to The Root of It All and then admit that she needs help. A little simple-minded, definitely not for the cynical, but not to be dismissed--its Hollywood approach to the treatment of addiction may well be the way reach people in need of the message.
Pub Date: Dec. 16th, 1988
ISBN: 1558173145
Page count: 446pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1988




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