FROM THIS DAY FORWARD: Staying Married When No One Else Is and Other Reckless Acts by Louise DeGrave

FROM THIS DAY FORWARD: Staying Married When No One Else Is and Other Reckless Acts

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Likable but terribly bland and routine snippets of wife-mother-and-person comedy--from a youngish would-be Bombeck whose columns appear in a La Jolla, Cal., newspaper. DeGrave writes mostly about her husband Ralph, ""one of the biggest slobs in the Western Hemisphere."" Ralph loses his keys; he resists giving up meat (""He'd sooner go without electricity""); he does badly at housework (in two nearly identical pieces); and, rather more distinctively, he plays part-time in bands for weddings (""The bride's family is wearing military uniforms and the groom's are in turbans. I'd play really loud if I were you""). And a sloppy husband isn't the only hand-me-down target here: there are also bits on late dinner guests, car salesmen, rambunctious dogs, bossy housekeepers, inflation, babysitters (""happiness is an obese adolescent neighbor with a lousy social life""), sexist bureaucracy, camping, and contact lenses. In two areas, however, DeGrave draws on some rather closer-to-the-bone material and generates sketches with slightly more edge and specificity: run-ins with her visiting Jewish in-laws (Louise is a ""shiksa""), including an absurdist dialogue with stubborn ""Pop"" about his pre-dawn coffee-making; and the grueling adoption process--which was followed, thanks to Louise's two pituitary operations, by pregnancy. (""After nine childless years and an adoption, nobody dares ask if you're pregnant, even. . .if you're standing there with your wineglass and a plate of hors d'oeuvres balanced on your stomach."") On such very personal ground--and in familiar but funny peeks at sibling rivalry and toddler logic-DeGrave scores in a low-key way. Mostly, however, she comes across as a pleasant but not-quite-ready-for-prime-time player in the housewife-humor game.

Pub Date: June 18th, 1981
Publisher: Little, Brown