LEAP YEAR by Peter Cameron


Email this review


Cameron (short-story collection, One Way or Another, 1986) provides a gently ironic look at contemporary mores and relationships in New York City: his first novel, originally serialized in 7 Days magazine, apparently aims at doing for N.Y.C. what Armistead Maupin (Tales of the City, etc.) did for San Francisco. More than a dozen fashionable friends, relatives, and strangers find their lives interconnecting during 1988--yes, a leap year, though the motif strains. Their problems are trendy (e.g., the biological clock), but Cameron has a knack for mocking foibles without turning his characters into caricatures. He's especially Fine rendering the ""appropriate"" way in which these upscale N.Y.C. parents introduce unpleasant concepts to their offspring. Except for the novel's wicked villainess--who frames a young photographer for murder--and her venal art-gallery associates, Cameron's characters are all unremittingly nice while their world--unusual in contemporary urban fiction--may be unpredictable and lonely, but always benign: Loren has a one-night stand with her now-gay ex-husband without any concern about AIDS; when five-year-old Kate is kidnapped, not only is it a case of mistaken identity, but her Hollywood star abductor takes her to Disneyland before returning her home; and the day-care worker who introduces her young charges to voodoo dolls, animal mutilation, and sacrifice turns into a resourceful rescuer when a human life is at stake. Sharp, urban satire that quickly softens into reassuring, charming fluff: a bonbon for the thirtysomething set.

Pub Date: Feb. 21st, 1989
Publisher: Harper & Row