Blanche and Nicky

Elliot West, Author Macmillan $0 (323p) ISBN 978-0-02-626080-0
The eponymous Blanche, a nice Jewish widow who happens also to be a prostitute, is forced by the pinch of the Depression into fronting for a numbers racket and subsequently into murder. With a 12-year-old son to support, however, she is not to be blamed for taking money for favors she would, under different circumstances, have freely bestowed, or to be punished for killing a man to save herself from a like fate. The reader is informed that this woman is an authentic dazzler, with whom her customers fall instantly in love and whose hand in marriage is sought by every chance acquaintance from the lawyer pleading her case to the men gathered around the pool in a Catskills resort. Even the fact that one of her suitors is murdered because he's in her company doesn't deter them. Although Blanche bears no resemblance to anyone you're likely to meet, the book is bound to win admiration for its frequent and explicit descriptions of the sexual act, which somehow never interferes with Blanche's preparation of nourishing meals for Nicky. January 13
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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