LOVING EDITH by Mary Tannen


Email this review


 Tannen (Easy Keeper, 1992, etc.) spins an engaging love story set in a Manhattan as mischievously bewitching and erotic as any Athenian wood. When 21-year-old Edith and college best friend Clarence decide to spend the summer working in New York, both have an agenda. They want above all to experience Real Life, but they also have their own individual plans. Edith, who is adopted, wants to find Lucille, her real mother, and Clarence, who is gay, wants to come out of the closet. Edith has accepted an internship at Ubu magazine, once on the cutting edge but now increasingly mainstream. Like all classic love stories, the plot here unabashedly relies on a mix of ignorance and confusion: Edith doesn't know that Geraldine, a bisexual Ubu editor who knew her mother Lucille when she worked for Ubu and advised her to have an abortion, not only recognizes Edith but is attracted to her; Martin, Ubu's editor, recovering at home from a heart attack, and named by Lucille as the father, falls in love with Edith (not knowing who she is) when she comes to help him on a project; Florence, his wealthy wife and former Ubu employee, does recognize Edith and fears at first that she's plotting revenge; and Lucille, an ex-hippie into multi-media art (and by chance Edith's summer landlady), also recognizes her daughter, but fears revealing herself because Edith is visibly repelled by her quirky behavior. Meanwhile, Edith, the object of all this interest, is blissfully ignorant until all these people start behaving in alarming and confusing ways as they find themselves loving her as a potential daughter, mistress, and companion. But as summer ends, the remarkably nice Edith has taught herself and the others all about Real Life and real love. A Midsummer Night's Dream with sharper 90's edges, but just as enchanting. A great summer read.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1995
ISBN: 1-57322-008-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Riverhead
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995