The House of Dolls

Barbara Comyns, Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (155p) ISBN 978-0-312-04974-4
The eponymous house belongs to Amy Doll, a young, unassertive widow, striving to educate her reluctant teenage daughter and dependent on the rent payments of an odd complement of women who lease the upstairs rooms in her London residence. While Amy attempts to set limits within her own space in the basement, she realizes that ``her house was being used as a brothel for elderly gentlemen.'' The doyennes of the upstairs are two aging harridans who spar endlessly with each other. Both are divorcees, short on money, long in languorous, bibulous reminiscences about better times and better men. They entertain some doddering admirers, which brings the house to the attention of an enterprising policeman, allowing Comyns to introduce a wholesome love interest for Amy. How all the women, especially the ladies who are to be evicted upon Amy's marriage, have their fates worked out--rather too patly--is the burden of this fragile, occasionally amusing novel from the author of The Juniper Tree . (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Library Binding - 210 pages - 978-1-56054-128-8
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