Only Love

Erich Segal, Author Putnam Adult $23.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-399-14341-0
Already slated for a 1998 Hallmark Entertainment miniseries, this tale of older-and-wiser deathbed romance from the popular Segal (Love Story; Oliver's Story; etc.) sacrifices grand passion to pleasantly formulaic plotting and self-satisfied resignation. Narrator Dr. Matthew Hiller's past and present collide when beautiful, rich Silvia Rinaldi turns to the world-renowned physician to cure a malignant brain tumor. Silvia is not just any patient; 18 years earlier, she and Matt were colleagues, idealistic young Medecine Internationale doctors in Africa, where they saved lives and became lovers. After an accident nearly killed Matt, Silvia mysteriously disappeared from his life, only to resurface as the wife of a wealthy Italian industrialist. Devastated, Matt buried himself in work, first in Africa, later in Boston and New York, where he married a childhood friend and became the top specialist in his field. Can he save his doomed lost love? Will they have a second chance at happiness? Segal handles this hackneyed yet entertaining plot with a light touch, adding a classical music subtext (Matthew is also a gifted pianist) to flesh out the fast-paced story. To say the least, the novel lacks the emotional intensity of the grand Italian opera scores reduced to a Muzak-like echo in these pages, and it's hard to care about any love affair involving Segal's smug protagonist--even one that nearly destroys his marriage. Nevertheless, the graying boomers who first made Segal a hit are likely to take whatever he dishes out, as he proves once again that Only Love means never having to say you're sorry. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7871-1520-3
Library Binding - 265 pages - 978-1-56895-520-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59040-162-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 335 pages - 978-0-425-16440-2
Hardcover - 576 pages - 978-1-56865-510-9
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