Picks and Pans Review: Manshare

updated 07/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Maxine Paetro

The heroine of this logic-free, beach-bag first novel is Hanna. She's a big city magazine staffer who "wants to be Features Writer the way a goose wants to honk." She has proposed a story on the shortage of datable men. The editor at her trendy monthly wants her to find a fix for the problem, so Hanna suggests a loaves-and-fishes approach: women-who-have can share their men with those-who-have-not. Hanna's boss instructs her to write the story in the first person. So she donates her fellow, Guy, an advertising exec, to her newly separated pal, Mahelly, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Mahelly is, after 15 years of marriage, just discovering her sexuality. She has always liked Guy. Now she takes to him more than Hanna had planned. Guy takes to Mahelly more than he had planned. Hanna misses Guy and resents Mahelly more than she had planned. Then there's David, the editor, who invites Hanna for a dalliance on his divan. Frank, Mahelly's husband, picks the wrong time to show Mahelly his new '57 Mercury. And Courtney, Guy's conniving ex-lover, is lurking too. There is nothing plausible about this book. How seriously, after all, can you take a 34-year-old heroine who says, "Yikes!" "Yow!" and "Wheee!"? Nobody expects this kind of thing to be literature, though. And Paetro, a veteran women's magazine writer, has spun a sometimes amusing fantasy of the single yuppie in semicrisis. Imagine Charlie Brown, Lucy and Peppermint Patty grown up and moved to Manhattan without Charles Schulz. (M. Evans, $15.95)

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