THE PLAYGROUP by Nancy Weber

THE PLAYGROUP

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Psychic toddlers, government conspiracies, psychosexual mania--all dished up in a teasing, trendy-Manhattan style that starts out breezy but ends up annoying and pretentious. Cookbook-writer Jill Everts, the sometime narrator, comes to N.Y. with fatherless little Daisy--who is soon happily part of a Central Park playgroup, along with the three-year-olds belonging to stewardess Jackie, art-gallery-owner Heidi, and banker's wife Elizabeth. But Jill starts suspecting that something is odd about the ""supersmart, super-cute, superbrave kids."" Why do other kids avoid them? Why do they seem to communicate so intensely? Why do they talk to imaginary people? And, meanwhile, while the kids' strangeness escalates (telekinesis, etc.), the demented wife of mayoral candidate Jack Keefe--who used to be Jill's lover--is stalking Daisy, convinced that they're related through some bio-telepathic-sexual link. (""Jack had carried her cells on his cock, had shoved them into foreign holes. . . ."") But is Mrs. Keefe really completely crazy in this idea? Could it be that this group of kids is telepathically attuned because of promiscuous links among their parents So believes psychologist Ken Huysman--who becomes Jill's preppy new lover. But is Ken's interest purely scientific? Or is he involved in some conspiracy to use the kids' powers for some evil purpose? All of these worries slowly fester here--until Daisy is indeed kidnapped by the crazy Mrs. Keefe. And then Ken must lead the wee psychics in a seance-like session to locate the kidnap hideout and to revive a dead Daisy. A few creepy moments--but the mounting, stretched-out implausibilities soon generate considerable irritation; and Weber's breathy, smartsy narration doesn't help much, especially when it lapses into such dreadful pseudo-poetics as ""He kissed me and I was seared and we were sealed but were not seers.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's