If this fifth book by the author of Walking Distance is an accurate depiction of our circumstances, there can be no further doubt about the state of Western civilization: confused.
A happily remarried man, Spike Goldman is distressed to find that Leora, his beloved second wife (and mother of his newborn son) has struck up a friendship with his ex-wife, Suzanne. Leora, for her part, resents Spike's closeness with his longtime shrink and sees her friendship with Suzanne as Spike's just deserts. Meanwhile, Leora's widowed father, Alexander, has taken up with his house-keener, a woman so warmhearted and commonsensical that even Alexander's shocked family and friends eventually come to accept her.
Clearly, Thurm is attempting to use these self-consciously wacky characters and situations to expose some Truths about Modem Relationships; what she has produced is a fairly obvious novel that resorts to just about every modern urban cliché. (Bantam, $19.50)