Picks and Pans Review: Infidelities
Some fairytale notions about romance—and life in general—dissolve under tickling irony in this short story collection by an English novelist. You can love two people at once, she suggests; the ideal marriage can get stale; and you don't always wind up with Mr. or Ms. Right. Life is inconsistent, love inconstant—the best to hope for is a sturdy sense of humor. The stories are brief, but the characters are delineated with precise British wit. In "Azaleas for Sale," Isabella's voice is a "bandaged rattle"; she still sees her doddering husband as the sexual creature he may once have been. Alice (in "Mind of Her Own") is a responsible wife and mother whose life is dictated by "yellow sensations," a stifling selflessness. When she quietly asserts herself, her family quietly puts her away. She quietly goes. This is only the second of Huth's works published in the U.S.; if there are more like this lying about, they should be shipped over without delay. (Clarkson Potter, $8.95)
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