The Waiting Room

Mary Morris, Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-385-26169-2
Morris's last three titles ( Crossroads ; The Bus of Dreams ; the nonfiction Nothing to Declare ) reveal a taste for journeys, actual and symbolic. This sagely provocative novel opens with Zoe Coleman returning by train to her Midwest home in response to an urgent summons from the clinic where her drug-ruined brother Badger is institutionalized. On the trip, Zoe recognizes that she's ``in love with distance. With trips across great continents and travel to the moon.'' But like the other women of the novel, Zoe is forced to idle in antechambers, bars and corridors, waiting for men to come back or just to notice them. A dermatologist, Zoe comprehends the body scientifically, while hungering for some stable physical intimacy. Much of the novel reaches into the past to delineate three generations of women: Naomi, Zoe's Russian immigrant grandmother cheated of her only love; June, her mother, whose husband Cal went to WW II a young, strong photographer and came back a stranger; Zoe herself, whose lover Hunt died in another war. A highly accomplished storyteller, Morris captures with humor and perspicacity the complex ways of women with men and with each other. BOMC and QPBC New Voice selections. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 273 pages - 978-0-14-013344-8
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