A MAN'S WOMAN by Marianne Baer


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One of those newish women's books with posh accessories, a dutiful message, and very little uptake. When Constance Bowman, cunning ad exec and ultracapable divorcÉe, needs a hysterectomy, her friends (all together now, sisters) gather to comfort her. At first they unstring their own troubles like SO many unmatched pearls--a husband trade-in, a new romantic interest, vengeful children, a lesbian's jealous lover--adding trendy ballast to a decidedly lightweight self-examination. Meanwhile Connie zigzags in and out of memory (ex-husband Laurence, unliberated Mom and Dad) and recuperates in style: Dom Perignon and soused shrimp in the hospital room, Mom and fresh food at home, mindless relaxation with a fragile malingerer in the country. Readers will want something more from Connie--a cramp, an afterthought, even a harsh remark--but there are no real complications here; men shy away from her and the women steal the show: ""They were their usual bitchy, greedy, weak-backed wonderful selves and they took me in and never turned me down."" And, when, after bidding good-bye to no-strings Tom, she finds unattached Ian for sunny sex on a private Greek island, her reformation is complete, a happy return assured. ""Hey, I'm back and I'm new."" Not entirely, but the price tag's still on.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1978
Publisher: Putnam