Alice Alone

Amanda Brookfield, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-312-03276-0
The first third of this debut novel from Great Britain is marvelous, the middle third not bad, the last, contrived. At 51, with no outside interests or strong friendships, Alice Hatton faces an empty nest and a husband she does not love. On an impulse she dyes her gray hair a startling brown, and, after her husband fails to join her for dinner, dines instead with a nice man whom she accompanies to his club for the first good sex of her life. Then the man asks how much he owes her. Alice's initial indignation and return home are hilarious. A subsequent affair is barely plausible and a letdown for the reader, however. Subsequent events include the return home of Alice's daughters and the introduction of an American character whose dialogue is a parody of English condescension. A final, insufficiently motivated plot twist, involving a bastard grandchild, is additionally disappointing, given the promise of the book's beginning. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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