QUINN by Sally Mandel


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By the author of the dewy-damp Change of Heart (1980): a droopy pom-pom romance, with a Lib tilt at the quivering-chin finale. Quinn Mallory, only child of jaunty John and gold-hearted Ann (who live in a dreary suburb of Boston), is a senior at a western Massachusetts university. And she's never been ""had."" But now, having given up hunting for the Ideal, Quinn compiles a list of possible de-flowerers. The winner: laconic Will Ingraham, who enters the contest with courtly iambic pentameter. (Quinn's ""legs turn to hot liquid"" in the happy coupling--or, as Will calls it, the ""grumpling."") Furthermore, Will turns out to be salt of the earth: he's committed to big-brothering a small black ghetto kid from a neighboring slum, who responds with puppy adoration. And Will is well received by Quinn's parents, particularly Ann (who's dying of leukemia). However, Quinn is a Big City buff while Will likes quiet and open spaces. And as Ann applies for a job with N.Y. TV commentator Ted Manning (presto! she's hired for a Boston affiliate), Ted dreams of golden gain. So: can they make a go of it? After all, they love each other, and others--like their chums Jewish Stanley and Boston brahmin Van--seem to overcome culture-clashes. But Quinn is ""going to burst if I don't do something important""--and it's career-ville, with heroine watching hero's plane wing Iowa-wards as she reads his final poem to her: ""Your soul brushes mine/so briefly--a butterfly kiss. . . ."" Creaky ethnic laughs (Stanley and Van) and croaky heart-throbs: a forgettable trifle altogether.

Pub Date: March 22nd, 1982
Publisher: Delacorte