Love and Hunger

Vickery Turner, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-525-24638-1
Turner, who is also an actress, exhibits a deft hand at characterization, bringing to life the principals in her novel, published in England last year as Lovers of Africa. Lili Smith, an aspiring actress with a cloud of pink-gold hair, does temp-typing for Mr. Dartey, an extraordinarily handsome, single-minded man who works for a famine-relief organization. Lili writes letters to her brother Henry, a young man with wasted legs who gets around in his wheelchair or by scooting like a fast-moving crocodile. Lili and Dartey are drawn to each other, but they part ways when she lands the lead in a small play and he leaves for Africa. Her play is a success and moves to the West End; Dartey returns, and this time they get together, only to separate again when the theater company goes to New York and Dartey must fly to Africa. Moving back and forth between the haunting drought-stricken landscapes of Ethiopia and the stages of London, New York and L.A., Turner writes with deep sympathy for her characters whose humor, intensity and game good-will offer no guarantee of happiness. The story falls down in its resolution, which takes place in a sand-swept refugee compound in Africa, but the cast keeps this tale aloft. Lili and company are sure to linger long in readers' minds. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
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