True Confessions: The Novel

Mary Bringle, Author Dutton Books $21.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-55611-488-5
Bringle's characters may be prone to anomie, but this lively rule-breaker of a novel will engender no indifference in its readers. Grace Peacock leads an ``untidy'' life. The author of a failed novel, she is hooked on confession magazines, lives in a building on Manhattan's West Side that's full of aging immigrants, teaches ``Experiments in Writing'' to fringe students and loves and/or marries men whose lives fit better on the pages of true-story rags than does her own. Grace dwells most fully in her own imagination-writing letters to a make-believe daughter fathered by long-dead husband Jules; fantasizing about son-of-mass-murderer and ex-husband Edward when in bed with Deveraux, who killed his own cousin; and getting sexually aroused by the innocent touch of an elderly neighbor. Grace has duped her mother in Chicago into believing she is in England by routing letters through unmarried British cousin Fiona-until Fiona comes to the States, pregnant. When Edward kidnaps Grace for the weekend, Grace realizes she is no longer a talent to be nurtured; instead, she now must spark creativity in her students. Like the magazines she reads, Grace shifts her focus from sin and redemption to simply feeling comfortable. Full of witty turns of phrase and layered with meaning, this latest from Bringle (Hacks at Lunch) is pure mental frolic. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
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