Loving Touches

David Hellerstein, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16.95 (233p) ISBN 978-0-395-40458-4
Pete Roth is the star psychiatric resident at Curtiss Psychiatric Institute on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He and his wife Sarah, an associate at an important midtown law firm, met and married when both were students at Harvard. Yuppies and then some, they're attractive, hardworking and clearly on the fast track. Then Celine comes onto Pete's floor at Curtisslovely, fragile-seeming, suicidal Celine, with whom Pete had a brief, significant affair during the summer his and Sarah's careers had kept them apart. When Celine is assigned to the resident with the shakiest reputation, Pete finds he can't maintain his professional distance. He becomes obsessed with her progress, gets involved in her treatment, grows apart from Sarah and even questions his commitment to his profession. In the course of these events, which include a frantic effort to save Celine after another suicide attempt, Pete faces his own selfish needs, observing his use of power over others and questioning the range of his control (shaking his yuppie values to their foundation). Conveyed with humor and sympathy, especially for Peter, this first novel by a psychiatrist-writer, whose previous book was the nonfiction Battles of Life and Death, is a nicely rounded story (even with its inconclusive ending) about people struggling with love and control. Its details of the back-room goings on at the fictional institute lend a refreshingly down-to-earth air to the often rarefied atmosphere on the far side of the couch. (January 20)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-34412-8
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-595-13193-8
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