Three-Legged Horse

Ann Hood, Author Bantam Books $7.95 (293p) ISBN 978-0-553-34732-6
Abby Nash has the talent and training to be a concert violinist. Instead, dressed in peasant clothes, she drags her 12-year-old daughter, Hannah, to the bars where she performs songs like ``Both Sides Now'' with a band called Three-Legged Horse, and is obsessed by her husband, Zach, an opportunistic artist who wanders in and out of her life. When the folk-rock group dissolves in order to pursue individual goals, Abby is forced to confront her own passivity. She checks into a psychiatric hospital to cure herself of Zach and foists Hannah on her mother, a narcissistic soap-opera star. Here the focus shifts to Hannah, who seems almost inhumanly logical and mature among so many irrational adults. Hood's ( Waiting to Vanish ) plot is not wholly persuasive--Hannah's rapprochement with Zach as well as Abby's therapy are glibly effected. But Hood's economy is stunning--she can summon entire personalities and settings with a very few observations, while sparing her readers the arctic discomforts meted out by her post-modernist colleagues. 40,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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