NOT EXACTLY WHAT I HAD IN MIND by Rosemary Breslin

NOT EXACTLY WHAT I HAD IN MIND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A self-proclaimed ""motor mouth from hell,"" who comes on like a ditzy, spoiled valley girl with a flip New York edge, chronicles her struggle with irreversible anemia and the romance that changes her life. Scriptwriter Breslin is in her early 30s and already two years into her debilitating affliction when she meets Tony Dunne, a solid, brooding type (""the thinking woman's football player"") who builds movie sets and has his own history of problems. Her self-esteem is in the toilet: ""Everything about me is 'used to.' I used to have a job, used to be well, used to have money and an apartment. I used to be somebody."" She falls head over heels, as does Tony, though he's unprepared to meet ""the marriage monolith . . . in full force."" But that doesn't deter Rosemary or much affect her addictive shopping habits. She schemes, manipulates, even pilfers money from Tony's pockets to support her overdeveloped sense of entitlement; at one point she owns up to having ""not a penny in my pocket"" for the rent or back taxes or any of a host of creditors, but she does have ""a $500 sweater and $260 shoes""--those courtesy of her father, newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, who gets off, she says, on the idea of dropping money to hide pain, of which she has plenty. Some unidentifiable antibody is killing off Rosemary's red blood cells; her survival depends on regular massive gamma globulin transfusions plus other, experimental therapies. Rosemary and her father carry on a dance of collusion and collision, he representing success, competition, authority, all of which she resists. To the extent that she exploits her experience of chronic illness to expose her self-centeredness and lack of impulse control, Breslin consigns her story to the realms of sitcom and soap opera. Once she achieves the affirmation of mutual love and professional recognition, however, she can claim to be a model of survival.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Villard