Passing Remarks

Helen Hodgman, Author, Helen Hodgeman, Author Ballantine Books $11 (215p) ISBN 978-0-345-41773-2
Aptly titled, the warm, spirited first U.S. publication for Australia's Hodgman (winner of both the Somerset Maugham and Christina Stead awards) is a flotilla of vignettes that bobble like sailboats on an ever-changing sea. Yes, there's a beginning, a middle and an end--all of which concern the love affair between civilized, menopausal Australian academic Rosemary and her new, much younger girlfriend, Harley-rider Billie. But getting there is more than half the fun. The hot new lovers separate, the better to ponder their future, and Hodgman zigzags between them, giving us antic, intimate scenes that might have been shot by Fellini hiding in the bushes. Most touchingly, Billie connects with Crispin, her mother's unenlightened, wasabi-growing beau. Most absurdly, Rosemary fills her car trunk with a friend's marijuana plants to conceal them from a police helicopter, only to have the car stolen by a rapist who dedigitizes his victims. Along the away, we encounter feral youths, whole-body tattooing, succulent food scenes and acid-dropping--a summer spree made poignant by the characters' nod to the winter awaiting us all. The scenes are spliced with observations of lesbian life and love Down Under, which (if they fail to surprise) will not fail to amuse. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/04/1998
Release date: 05/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 196 pages - 978-0-86824-677-2
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