A FINE TIME TO LEAVE ME by Terry Pringle


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The title is catchy but altogether too plaintive for Pringle's engaging second novel--a love story that has little to do with leaving and a lot to do with Working Things Out. Chris Gray, a Baylor University student and part-time grocery clerk, falls for a cute blonde named Lori, who drops a soft-drink bottle on her foot in the supermarket. She's a rich girl who drives a red Cutlass with vanity plates and carries a key ring that says "Spoiled Rotten:" And spoiled she is, but, luckily, she has other compensations, not the least of which is an extremely passionate nature. Before long, Chris and Lori are passionately in love or, at least, in bed--they don't know there's a difference at first. After overcoming a few obstacles--such as Lori's mother's initial disapproval--they get married and settle down, ready to live passionately ever after. But, inevitably, real life intervenes. There are problems in the next few years: Lori's depression about her teaching job; Chris' forced abandonment of his dreams of world travel; Lori's obsessive redecorating; Chris' competition with his know-it-all brother. Finally, there's a real breakdown in communication. Lori leaves. Chris pursues. They get to work on Working Things Out. It's all "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" material and, handled differently, might have been strictly formula stuff. But Pringle (The Preacher's Boy, 1988) takes care to get below the surface of these characters--they're whole, quirky, and likable--and he's never condescending about their concerns. This is a novel about how marriage really works--sometimes it sizzles, sometimes it simmers--and Pringle makes it into something both subtler and richer than the usual domestic stew.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1989
ISBN: 945575-16-5
Publisher: Algonquin
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