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 From the author of Lily Beach (1993), a pleasant-enough love- cures-all saga set in a Brooklyn neighborhood on the brink of gentrification. Zoe Finney has moved to Park Slope with her six-year-old daughter Rose and her deeply depressed husband Jamie. She's sold the Sutton Place co-op inherited from her husband's ultra-wealthy family and has set out to live her own way. Meantime, poor Jamie lies quasi-catatonic all day, while Zoe pines for sex and comforts herself with compulsive shoplifting. And gets to know her handsome divorced neighbor, Keevan, a sensitive schoolteacher who seduces her with Clue games and the kind of full-throttle adoration that neither her parents nor her husband have given her. Kid-at-heart Keevan also wins the trust and love of troubled little Rose. But some sort of stuff has to happen before the happy trio can sign on for happily ever after. The various salt-of-the-earth types who populate the neighborhood must negotiate some obligatory life crises: The liveliest subplot allows Keevan's bitter sister-in-law Patty to get a makeover, jettison her cheating husband, and discover the joys not only of dating but of cooking with lemongrass; Keevan must cure himself of his suppressed anger at women, which emerged during his first marriage (he knocks this task off with surprising ease); and in order to start loving herself, Zoe must get arrested for shoplifting and learn that Keevan still cares. When Jamie finally snaps out of it, puppy-eyed in his gratitude at Zoe's patience, she must go through some long-winded vacillations between duty and passion before Jamie selflessly decides to renounce her so that, without even having to make a difficult choice, she can be with Keevan. A standard-issue fairy tale, then, rescued from potential dreariness by its likable characters and its nostalgic and vivid rendering of a neighborhood where benign nosiness still reigns.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-688-14589-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1997


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