LIVING TOGETHER by Robert C. S. Downs


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When beautiful Janice Norman and handsome Charlie Perkins--complete strangers--are stranded together in a remote winter cabin after a small-plane crash in Maine, a painfully predictable ordeal/romance ensues. At first Janice and Charlie just concentrate on recovering from their respective wounds; they worry about wood, cold, the iced-in lake, the possibility of rescue. . . and (the only sign of human life for miles) an unfriendly, perhaps-homicidal poacher. But soon Janice and Charlie are exchanging confidences, with a little group-therapy-for-two: Janice, engaged to marry someone she doesn't really love, is also in a stew about her abandoned career as a flautist; Charlie, miserably married to a promiscuous actress in N.Y., teaches in a Maine prep-school but anguishes about never having gotten his Ph.D. Then, as the cabin gets colder, the strangers get warmer--indulging in B-movie dialogue ("" 'From the moment I saw you,' she said, her voice a whisper under the wind, 'from the moment I saw you I've been wondering what it'd be like with you'"") and sharing those ""orgasms gathering in the most distant recesses of their bodies. . . ."" Later, after sex, further confessions pour forth--Janice can't have children, Charlie has suffered from severe depression--while the lovers face a snowstorm, frostbite, a broken stove, and spats. (""You're stuck in some sickening swamp of guilt and love and anger."") And finally, come March, supposedly barren Janice is inevitably pregnant--and the couple canoes toward civilization, surviving a little death-duel with that evil poacher. . . and planning for marriage. (""'What happens now, Charlie?' 'Tomorrow,' he said. 'And then?' 'The next day.'"") Tepid as a survival-ordeal, soggy as a love-story: a banal package at best.

Pub Date: July 28th, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's