Flashes of humor and one memorable character distinguish this otherwise trite coming-of-age tale. About to enter Wellesley in 1957, Ann Merrill, the 18-year-old narrator, leaves home to work in a Boston bookshop and live in a Hollywood-concept Beacon Hill boarding house run by Malcolm Balch, a kindly gay stereotype. Ann meets Georgia Mitchell, an endearing depressive with sneakers as big as loaves of French bread and problems that turn out to be more interesting than Ann's affair with co-worker Oscar Benson, a hokey sexual initiation untinged by fear of pregnancyjust as a night of heavy drinking with Georgia produces only the mildest of hangovers. Appleton is conscientiously nonsexist, her dramatic hooks work and her scenes build, but the compelling story at the heart of her novelGeorgia's disturbing resolution of her powerful conflictsis partly obscured by the main character's unreal, charmed life and her stale sexual and social awakenings.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
What happened "that summer" in the 1950s to Wellesley-bound, proper Bostonian Annie Merrill is reminiscent of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar , but without the depth or poetry. Annie leaves her mother's protective care to take up residence in a more bohemian Boston neighborhood in order to experience "life" before beginning her studies. Her roommate, Georgia, has an eccentricity and joie de vivre that is enchanting at first, but Annie soon realizes that they mask Georgia's private torments. As Annie tries to deal with Georgia's multiple suicide attempts, she becomes entangled in the bewildering web that makes up Georgia's life. In counterpoint to this drama is a rather humorous subplot concerning homely MIT student Oscar, who constantly hounds Annie for sex. This first novel is mildly engrossing, but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression.
- Rosellen Brewer, Monterey Cty. Lib., Seaside, Cal.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Signet, 1990. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Very Good. Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # BK0078053
Book Description Signet, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. 0451164709. Bookseller Inventory # IM97880
Book Description Signet, 1990. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0451164709