Modern Women

Ruth Harris, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (439p) ISBN 978-0-312-03402-3
Like so many other books that explore the impact that the sexual revolution and women's liberation movement had on the professional and romantic lives of female characters, Harris's ( Love and Money ) latest novel begins, in a predictably trite manner, with JFK's assassination. In developing her novel about three women, their careers, lovers and husbands, along the tumultuous timelines of the '60s and '70s, Harris excessively invokes the music, bestsellers, news headlines and cultural changes of the period to telegraph clues as to what will happen to the three main protagonists as they seek fame and fortune in the New York publishing and journalistic milieu. Midwestern Jane dreams of being a famous writer and views herself as passionate, not promiscuous (no fear of flying here); beautiful, well-bred, pampered Lincky's life is turned upside down when her parents die in an airplane crash; and socially conscious Elly enjoys little success in her relationships with the opposite sex (``ever the dumpee, never the dumper''). While sprightly and replete with interesting personalities, the novel is overwrought with cliches and prosaic situations; Harris even gives the name ``Jennifer'' to the young woman Elly's husband (beset by writer's block after failing to write a blockbuster) falls in love with at age 45. 100,000 first printing. 100,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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