THE PAPER ANNIVERSARY by Joan Wickersham

THE PAPER ANNIVERSARY

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A first novel that explores with humor and depth the on-and- off marriage of two confused young Ivy Leaguers. Clever, flighty Maisie--the daughter of a dance instructor who died when Maisie was young and a mother who worked as a secretary in Virginia--has lived for the day when she could flee to Harvard and the glamorous urban life she was sure lay ahead. There, Maisie meets a boy she believes might fulfill her dreams--Jack, the staid son of a french-fry-factory owner and a Harvard man by birth. When Jack's father dies and Jack feels compelled to return home to dreary Champs du Soleil, Maine, to take care of the factory, Maisie marries him--despite serious qualms that she could be signing away her life before it's even begun. Months later, when Jack shows no signs of selling the factory, Maisie panics and escapes again--this time to a girlfriend's apartment in New York. Officially, Maisie is there temporarily for the sake of her career, and she throws herself into the role of half of a glamorously commuting professional couple, working as an editorial assistant while Jack tackles the decidedly unglamorous problems of french-fry manufacture. Months pass with few visits between New York and Maine, and Maisie tumbles inexorably toward a few pointless affairs, while Jack is drawn toward his advertising rep, who's as stable and predictable as himself. Guilt-ridden over their betrayals, estranged and uncertain about their future, Jack and Maisie try a formal separation--only to learn that without one another life lacks spark and focus. Older and wiser, Maisie forgets her dreams of a glamorous life and Jack gives up his factory, and the two meet halfway--in Boston--to make a family together. A sweet, penetrating look at young love--and an unusually well-crafted debut.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-670-84064-5
Page count: 356pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993