THE BIG RED POCKETBOOK by William Hawkins

THE BIG RED POCKETBOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The waiting period in a hospital while his wife Nia lies in danger after a car accident provides pause for a romantic run- through by a man painfully learning to grow through love. Phil, depleted to impotency by his wrathful first wife, met Nia on a European vacation prescribed by friends to revive him. A singer, she attracted him as a talent-handler, but it was her quality ""which means she was herself, proud, non-classifiable"", and her positive quality at that, ""which means she poured her bravery onto the world around her"", that hold him. Phil urges Nia into a disastrous dubbing session in Rome which exhausts her so that when her true debut comes with Cornucopia, she rises to her greatest -- and only -- performance, tearing her voice to shreds in a flame of stardom. In retrospect, Phil realizes that she has now turned her magnificent will to recreating him, and her willingness to accept the responsibility of the accident actually engendered by his daughter steadies him to make his own decision to take a stand at last. The author chooses his words well for the too-thoughtful narrator, who does not wear them lightly -- the result of this Never on Sunday type of encounter between American man and European woman is more determined than entrancing.

Publisher: Appleton-Century-Crofts