WINTER WIFE by Jessica Auerbach

WINTER WIFE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

How to beat that locked-in feeling, that diaper-feeding-sleepless solitude of the first-time New Mother Blues? Simple. Have an affair with the mailman. Amy Gold, isolated in the snow and ice of a Minneapolis winter, is new in town--irritated with husband Paul (he doesn't understand, and their joyless sex hurts), staggering through her days doggedly while attending to the relentless needs of baby Marissa. She peers through ice on the windows, thinking about the recent death of her adored mother back in her home in Maryland, brooding about her lost ""other life"" as a flutist, watching soap operas and moping. But, because baby presents are still arriving, Amy sees a lot of the 40-ish, friendly mailman, whom she dubs ""Joe."" And ""Joe""--his real name is Eddie, he has a wife and five kids--loves babies to pieces: ""Each tooth I cried. When they walked I cried. When they talked I cried."" So it's Eddie, recognizing the strains of new motherhood (his wife Deena had been terrified of her own Medea fantasies), who teaches Amy how to bathe Marissa, talk to her, love her. Furthermore, the relationship moves from mere bathinettes to lunches (Eddie brings Amy spaghetti sauce, revives her interest in cooking) to kissing and bedding--as Amy's problems with sex vanish. But now both are faced with a dilemma. Eddie loves his family: could he have what amounts to two wives? Amy is less uncertain, proposing a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains. And finally, thanks to Eddie's wise decision, Amy begins adjusting to the outside world. . . with a springtime renewal and hopeful hints of reconciliation with unknowing Paul. Home-truths about the fearsome doubts of new mothers give the suds a little starch--but this is lightweight, TV-movie-level soap overall, unpretentious and agreeable.

Pub Date: Dec. 6th, 1983
Publisher: Ticknor & Fields/Houghton Mifflin