Perfect Together

Nora Johnson, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-525-93316-8
It all started, Fran tells her psychiatrist in this brisk comedy of errors, when she and her husband, Charlie, two driven, sophisticated New York City professionals on the fast track, moved to suburban Rivertown. Fran and Charlie are the perfect couple except for one thing--now that they want a baby, they can't seem to conceive one. So they set up the perfect suburban life, complete with maid. But Fran doesn't get pregnant, the maid does--with Charlie's baby. He and Fran decide to adopt the child, generating an ironic saga of social mores. With a breezy pace and rapid (sometimes too rapid) shifts between humor and calamity, the novel demonstrates that life doesn't always turn out the way you plan. Johnson ( The World of Henry Orient ; The Two of Us ) creates an appealing cast of characters; some (like Fran and her sparkling mother, Lulu) more sharply drawn than others, but all lively. Her writing polished and packed with visual, animated language, Johnson successfully avoids sounding like a TV movie on yuppies who have waited too long to have children. Her narrative swiftly careens toward tragedy and an uplifting denouement, but unfortunately it lacks the depth that would make the story truly moving. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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