Mother's Little Helper

Gina Cascone, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (181p) ISBN 978-0-312-54935-0
Mother's little helper is neither of Paula's two young children; nor is it a handy labor-saving device for lightening the load of her suburban-housewife life. Not drug nor drink, it's Ralph, the high school senior she meets while jogging one spring morning. Exactly how Ralph ends up in her bed is bewildering to Paula. But not as bewildering as the larger questions in her life. Is she simply a servant to her children and husband? Is that why she resents them so? Why does she have no friends? And what will she do in the fall when both children are in school all day? With Ralph to prime her self-esteem, Paula finds the courage to tackle these issues. Come September, after bidding a tearful farewell to Ralph (who's off to college), she has also found satisfaction with her husband, a late-afternoon sitter for the kids and a job at a women's-interest newspaper as assistant to the editorwho happens to be Ralph's mother. Long on froth and gag lines, Cascone's (Pagan Babies second novel is short on substance. The pain of Paula's dilemma is too real for its easy, Yuppie-style solution. (November 7)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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