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THE STORK CLUB by Iris Rainer Dart


by Iris Rainer Dart

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 1992
ISBN: 0-316-17332-0
Publisher: Little, Brown

Those at center stage in Dart's fifth novel (I'll Be There, 1991, etc.) are all L.A. types and members of a very special therapy group, presided over by a psychologist named Barbara Singer. As Barbara explains: ``It's for families whose babies are the result of the new technologies and arrangements, like open adoption, or insemination.'' These seekers into nongenetic family values include Rick Reisman, a famous director pushing 50 who likes his women bimbotic and between the hours of midnight and 7 a.m. only. But the sudden death of his best friend forces Rick to face the emptiness that is his life, leading to his decision to adopt the baby of a pregnant teenager from Kansas. At his right in the therapy circle are Shelly Milton and Ruthie Zimmerman, a team of comedy writers who've never had sex (Shelly's gay) but who have a son, via a test tube. The only trouble is, Shelly's HIV positive. Next comes Judith, who—despairing of ever finding a decent guy- -has made two trips to a sperm bank, resulting in two daughters. And finally there are the De Nardos, who don't always sit together because Mitch has betrayed Lainie by consorting with the surrogate mother of their child, even though they'd all agreed that the woman would disappear as soon as she handed over the baby: VoilĂ–!, the kinds of troubles that might make any therapist drool. But Dr. Barbara is not so crass. She helps them all sort out their problems (in not too surprising ways), then cuts them loose to raise their brave new broods. Dart, a former TV comedy writer herself, knows her way around a punch line, not to mention Hollywood. So not to worry if the split focus makes it hard for readers to bond with several of the characters: it's still entertaining, trendy, and seeping with baby lust.