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Naomi Holoch, Author, Naomi Holech, Author
Naomi Holoch, Author, Naomi Holech, Author Faber & Faber $23.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-571-19922-8
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A transatlantic love triangle ends bitterly in this ambitious, intelligent but fatally disorganized first novel by the co-editor of the Lambda Award-winning Women on Women series. At the center of the triangle is Gabriella, a fatalistic, depressive bisexual editor who lives in Paris, apart from her daughters and academic husband. Her lover, Miriam, is a conventional, sexually repressed translator (and the novel's narrator) who agonizes over Gabriella's apparent ambivalence toward her. When their weekly exchange of letters cools, then mysteriously halts, Miriam flies from New York to her friend's side, only to discover that Gabriella has been in Marseilles visiting her children and seems unable or unwilling to make a final break with her husband. Holoch seems to have bitten off slightly more than she can chew with this tale of an American in Paris. Themes and leitmotifs abound without proper development; the novel's major events share an odd feeling of anticlimax; and, in the meantime, there's too much rumination about Miriam's fear of abandonment and Gabriella's impulse to flee. Still, the novel's best scenes are so convincing that one wishes the whole could live up to these parts. Instead, readers will have to hope for a more dramatic second novel. (Jan.)
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