BREAKING UP by Norma Klein


Email this review


A divorced lesbian Mom, an uptight stepmother, a conservative father who considers Mom unfit for custody, and a dawning love affair with her possessive best friend Gretchen's brother Ethan: these are the problems facing 15-year-old Ali the summer she spends with her father in California after a year in New York where her mother now works. When Daddy, a lawyer, begins to suspect about Mom and her New York friend Peggy, he launches a legal campaign to keep Ali and her older brother Martin with him. Martin agrees, as his girlfriend is in California, and for a while Ali is torn, reluctant to hurt Mom but tempted by Ethan's presence and the need to make peace with Gretchen. But she really prefers living with Mom; and in the end Dad unaccountably relents, Gretchen writes a conciliatory letter, and Ethan comes to New York for a Columbia interview and a first night of love with Ali. All of this is told in Klein's usual slick first person. Though not cluttered with as many trendy topics as her last book, A Honey of a Chimp, it's another of her resolutely contemporary glosses.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Pantheon