REFLECTIONS by Susan Hufford

REFLECTIONS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Three women artists, all harboring nests of guilt-bearing vipers, attempt to reach creative freedom while maneuvering through the patterns which ""repeat themselves in the lives of women"". . . or at least in the lives of pop-feminist fiction. Brilliant artist Angelica, 34, nee Dolores Steinberg from Chicago, has been the longtime lover of abstract expressionist Ferris Brown, but she's ""dying inside because of lack of recognition."" So, posing in a Paris storewindow for five days and nights in an aesthetic/psychic experiment, Angelica ponders her years with Ferris and leaves, pregnant, for New York--to share an apartment with young, blond sculptor-welder Jone (sic) Beeles and share feelings with Cathy Ainsley, 46, the Ohio-bred widow of an overbearing Pollock-like painter. (His work has often been used, unfairly, as a yardstick for Cathy's imaginative, fanciful landscapes and portraits.) All three will be thrown off course by female guilts--by love that ""mucks up your mind. . . women's minds."" Angelica will lose her baby, will suffer from the high-handed manipulation of the male art establishment, and will finally be happy, reborn, alone. Jone, haunted by the image of a grandmother who gave up painting for childbirth, has a tubal ligation, loses her adored husband, eventually rejects suicide, and plans shrink appointments. And Cathy has a miserable time deciding what to do about her two men: unsexy art critic/husband Lester, father of her small son; and young super sex-partner Tony. (Her decision to stay with Lester ultimately releases the creative juices blocked by the Problem.) There are the familiar lib landmarks: ""discoveries"" of female progenitors; paeans to female friendships; and the boozy, late-night woman-to-woman confessional. The creative processes are unconvincingly captured, however; the art-world atmosphere is strictly one-dimensional; and overall this is a flabby, if somewhat novel, addition to the Women's Room spinoff department.

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1981
Publisher: Seaview--dist. by Harper & Row