HUSBANDS AND LOVERS by Ruth Harris

HUSBANDS AND LOVERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

More trendy suds from the author of The Rich and the Beautiful and A Self-Made Woman: amid Bloomingdale's pillow-talk, restaurant glitz, and Manhattan power plays, two couples--one married, one not--struggle with past miseries so they can sort out present Relationships. In the teasing 1982 prologue, Kirk Arnold, husband of Carlys, arrives at the apartment of George Kouras with a gun, ""knowing he was to meet his wife's lover face-to-face."" Then, flashing back to 1971, we watch as Carlys--a tiger at work (PR) but a doormat with men--first meets Kirk, a fantastically successful Mr. Fixit for faltering businesses. He really sees her; they marry. ""Men who had power over her now took her seriously."" But, while Carlys' career forges ahead, Kirk is elbowed out of a job and tortured by his past: a father's suicide; a brother's hatred; a painfully broken marriage to nice Bonnie, mother of their two kids. (Bonnie couldn't cope with Kirk's driven miseries.) Meanwhile, we also meet Jade Mullen, who gets a divorce with happy relief, returning to N.Y. to continue a fast track career in Garment Center management. (Domesticity in Fort Worth was wretched, especially when husband Barry forced Jade to have an abortion--resulting, it seems, in a childless future.) And Jade soon finds the perfect partner in designer George Kouras, divorced from wife Ina and still battling the hurt of being excluded from a WASP frat, of being ""too pretty."" But, while George uses sex to solve every problem, sex is a problem in itself: in order to ""be a man"" to Jade, he needs another woman! Enter, then, Carlys--whose marriage to Kirk is at an arid impasse. So when does the gun go off? Patience: it does, of course, with Carlys and Jade in attendance. . . though there'll be a happy ending. Vacant people in a moderately entertaining package of Gotham posh.

Pub Date: March 29th, 1985
Publisher: Macmillan