Picks and Pans Review: Smart Women

updated 02/13/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/13/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Judy Blume

Two divorced women in Boulder, Colo. become friends. One is an architect with two teenage children, the other a real-estate saleswoman with a young daughter. The saleswoman's ex-husband arrives in town and soon becomes the architect's lover, which helps bring on the saleswoman's breakdown. Blume, her recent, oversexed Wifey aside, is best noted for her juvenile novels, and the children in this book are the only convincing characters. Their dialogue is sharp, funny and salty. Their mothers, on the other hand, are Krantz-style achievers without international glamour and big money. They are also such unpleasant, self-centered creatures that no one could ever want to live with them. The men are just sex symbols—ineffectual jerks with hard, beautiful bodies who have to be dealt with, sigh, by the poor, overburdened females. This book is patronizingly aimed at women, so perhaps some readers will respond to its arbitrary tone of middle-age melancholy and the mushy, inappropriate ending. Blume's prose is, at least, slick and clean throughout, and skimming Smart Women takes no more effort than lathering over a TV soap opera. (Putnam's, $15.95)

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