AS GOOD AS IT GETS by Judith Greber


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A third commercial fiction foray by the author of Mendocino (1988) that reads like every baby-boomer's back pages, beginning in 1960, long before the ""lovable, funny bright girl"" Ted Bennett marries becomes a ""goddamned harpy."" The girl is Hallie, who really wants to go to law school, but then her diaphragm springs a leak and she has the first of three children with drop-dead handsome Ted, an ambitious engineer who doesn't mean to hold Hallie back but can't quite help it. He wants to do well, and that takes precedence. Just as the last Bennett baby toddles off to kindergarten and mom gets accepted at Harvard Law, Ted takes a job in California, meaning Hallie must put her hopes on the back burner again. Eventually, though, she does get her J.D., specializing in helping downtrodden divorcÉes whose plights amaze her, since her own marriage continues to chug along. Sure, she doesn't like Ted's new job as president of a fast-track Silicon Valley firm (it seems like a sell-out), and they're not as intimate as they once were--but, hey, Hallie knows marriage is no bed of roses. It's just that Ted finally succumbs to temptation and has an affair, leaving the marriage to blow up right before Greber runs out of recent pop history to recycle. Still, the curtain falls on a happy domestic scene--as it must in such a recidivistic fairy tale. Hallie isn't really a character, just Everywoman's voice; and Ted is every married woman's dream husband (lovable warts and all).

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Crown