Irini Spanidou, Author . Knopf $23 (212p) ISBN 978-0-375-41381-0

T he evocative third novel from Spanidou (Fear ) centers uneasily on a group of late 1960s New York bohemians over the course of several tense months. Beautiful, delicate Beatrice, 25, dropped out of Barnard to marry Ned, a hard-drinking painter with coarse ways and little respect for his lovely, emotionally remote wife, who supports them as a book editor's assistant. The SoHo of their downtown loft is menacing; their motley assortment of friends move in and out of their lives depending on happenings and their attraction to Beatrice as an obscure, unattainable object of desire. The friends include Beatrice's childhood friend, Faye, a singer and rising TV actress who is as sensuous and sarcastic as Beatrice is cerebral; Colin, the deep-feeling, independently wealthy young man who lives downstairs; and Cyril, Ned's Vietnam vet brother, determined to replace feeling with making money. Next door, an ex-con returns from prison and on his doorstep appear a parade of doped-up adolescent boys waiting for their next hit. Beatrice's life unfolds sadly as the It Girl is doomed to implausible notions of love and little sense of self-worth, both tied deftly by Spanidou to Beatrice's 1950s upper-middle-class upbringing. Restrained and sparely episodic, Spanidou's novel is at once haunting and immediate. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-0-375-71314-9
Open Ebook - 130 pages - 978-0-307-48208-2
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