UP IN SETH'S ROOM by Norma Fox Mazer


Email this review


In Finn's parents' eyes Seth has two strikes against him: he is 19, four years older than she, and he is the brother of the medical student Finn's older sister is living with despite her working-class parents' outrage at this sinful way of life. But Finn continues to snatch moments with Seth, and once he gets a room of his own those moments turn into heated under-the-covers sessions that end in the same old argument, as she refuses to go all the way. Finn's friend Vida doesn't help, with her praise for making love and her insistence that Finn take up with insinuating Jerry, whose very eyes speak incessantly of sex. Finn and Seth break up over the issue, then come back together, and the outcome (before he effectively ends the relationship by moving to a farm in Vermont) is this: despite his early protest (""Do you think it's right [for me] to shoot off into the wall?""), he finally agrees that ""there are other things to do that will make us both feel good."" A cliche situation, with some goopy descriptions of sexual bliss and what might well be seen as a ludicrous solution in these days when technical virginity has pretty much lost its cachet. But one can imagine other girls becoming involved in Finn's lonely battles (defying her parents, disagreeing with Vida, resisting Seth). And the fact that different readers can come out of this taking different sides--Finn's, Seth's, even the parents'--attests to Mazer's skill in giving the single-issue story some human contours.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1979
Publisher: Delacorte