Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAt age 22, Wolitzer made her debut in the critically praised novel Sleepwalking; her second book is another singular feat. Shifting unobtrusively from the viewpoint of each character, the narrative creates empathy for those involved in an unconventional situation. Although married to attractive, uxorious physician David Giovanni and mother to a baby she adores, Laura is inexplicably dissatisfied, relieved when David sadly consents to a divorce. Meeting Julia Price, Laura recognizes her own hitherto unsuspected lesbianism, and she enters into an affair that lasts until Julia ends it abruptly. Later, a permanent attachment to Jane Bloom means explaining to David and risking his demand for custody of their son Ian, now growing up in a household with the two women in an unsanctioned relationship. But David is gratifyingly agreeable, and Laura is able to find serenity and contentment. Although there is little real conflict in this novel, the characters Wolitzer brings to life with rare insight compel one's complete absorption. (May 14)
Library Journal - Library JournalIn this well-written tale, a young New Yorker negotiates her way through a semi-somnolent marriage and a period of single motherhood, eventually attaining a fulfilling relationship with a woman and a home on suburban Long Island. Settled there, Laura thinks of herself, her lover, and her child as ``thrown together by default, by some accident. Their household was built of spare partswomen and children only, the survivors of a sunken boat . . . .'' The story is about hard choices, and survivors: Laura's ex-husband remarries and becomes more humane; her son learns to cope with a society that openly disapproves of his mother's homosexuality. The implication is that few people can find peace in a life like that of Laura's parents, who have grown old together contentedly, if mundanely. True or not on this point, the book provides a realistic, sympathetic perspective on sexual alternatives and contemporary living. Laurie Spector Sullivan, Regis Coll. Archives, Weston, Mass.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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