Picks and Pans Review: Tuxedo Park

UPDATED 09/15/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/15/1986 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Laura Furman

In this splendid novel, Sadie Ash is in college when she falls in love with Willard Weaver, a withdrawn man of inherited wealth who is writing a monograph on Whistler. She never doubts her love and gives herself to him happily. When she gets pregnant, he marries her, thinking that children might help him to focus his life. Among the Weaver properties is a house in exclusive Tuxedo Park, an isolated enclave of castles and summer homes north of New York City. Sadie winds up there with the couple's two children in the decaying mansion where Willard grew up. He deserts Sadie for a woman artist he had known before he met Sadie. But Sadie refuses to give him a divorce, and for the next decade she and the children survive in the strange world of Tuxedo Park. One resident explains, "Tuxedo can be terribly depressing, of course, whether you see it as a failed social experiment or a slightly inconvenient suburb. The best houses are empty, and occupied ones are in a disgraceful condition..." Furman is the author of a murder mystery set in Texas and two volumes of fine short stories. This novel—full of subtle observations about love, money and the unpredictability of human nature—is her best book. Will Sadie ever understand what she is doing to herself and her daughters? Will Willard ever return to Tuxedo Park? The suspense is palpable—just as it is supposed to be in romantic fiction. (Summit, $17.95)

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