Gentle Tourist

Jill Delay, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-233-97872-7
Set mainly in Palermo, Delay's compas sionately written first novel depicts the pathetically empty life of aging Lorenzo D'Ayala, an affluent museum archivist caught in a debilitating lassitude. Staid, decorous D'Ayala has always dutifully obeyed the dictates of ""taste, social ele gance, and class,'' but his wife's death alerts him to the vacuousness of his exis tence. Determined to revitalize himself, D'Ayala impulsively hires his tailor's niece as a maid. Although they are never intimate, this uninhibited girl awakens D'Ayala's dormant sensuality with her saucy charm. Unfortunately, D'Ayala's enervation returns after he is fired by his petty new superior at the museum, so he attempts to recuperate at the Milan home of his son and daughter-in-law, Laura. He discovers, however, that Lau ra is surreptitiously trying to sell his apartment, and he escapes her duplicity by journeying to London to visit a dying friend. There, unexpected events restore D'Ayala's self-assurance and lead him to a bittersweet romance. Delay portrays the plight of this gallant, somewhat anachronistic man with immense under standing, and the story ends in a heart ening, credible manner. (December
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
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