COMING TO LIFE by Norma Klein


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One of those more educated biological sudsers (on the order of Lynne Reid Banks or Miss Klein's own Give Me One Good Reason, 1973) about a young woman of the times with too many choices and too few commitments. Ingrid, as the story opens, is married to Marc ( a psychology teacher at a small college), is the mother of one child and then suddenly another when one is available for adoption, but she apparently has nothing to do except play tennis -- aggressively -- with well-domesticated Angus. She would like to ""think"" of herself as ""something"" (a minor substitution here of activity for identity) and Marc has real problems -- losing his tenure, becoming literally more paranoid from day to day, and accusing her of being the ball-breaking bitch she is on the tennis court in the private sector. And there's more, more, lots more, about her forceful physicist mother and frail, withdrawn father, and her sister Lottie who eats her way into another aberrant state. . . . Klein confides all this with a kind of intimacy you reciprocate, be it only by reading it -- a kind of vicarious eavesdropping for others like Ingrid who are creatures of unfulfilled impulse and undisciplined intellect who just might pick up a copy of Redbook at the supermarket checkout.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1974
Publisher: Simon & Schuster