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Quite a parade of ""gentlemen"" are calling on 42-year-old Alice Miller in this bed-oriented saga of self-discovery. Glum and bitter about her husband's dictatorial insistence that they move to California with their two boys, Alice is starting to realize that her marriage is cooling-to-cold and that there's a Real Alice moving within the housewife and mother. Husband Jake leaves with the kids, the furniture in her beloved Manhattan is packed, and Alice has one week to cram with activity: ""I'll do my damndest to make it the most interesting wilderness I've ever explored."" And so to bed. There's 20-year-old Robert, with whom Alice has been having an affair anyway. Then two old friends: a classics teacher who's an enterprising gymnast; and good old Frank (""Atta girl! You can do it!"") who brings an enthusiastic lady to make a trio. While Alice is thus bidding Manhattan goodbye, and alternately ticking off and being turned on by Robert, Alice's good friend Gwen has another sort of caller--the kind that specializes in phoned obscenities and eerie shadowing. The two gals join forces to snag the creep and bolster one another's faltering egos. Gwen recovers, but Alice, off to California because of the kids, despairs of the lost Alice and the ""splendor of the dream."" There's a fair measure of contemporary crackle here, but Alice's odyssey will seem hollow to anyone not quite willing to equate action between-the-sheets with character development.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1979
Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Simon & Schuster