A Change of Luck

Julia Markus, Author Viking Books $18.95 (305p) ISBN 978-0-670-81414-5
Achieving the potential of her earlier novels ( Friends Along the Way , etc.), Markus's new book is assured, mature, unpredictable and inconclusive--in short, a lot like life. When she meets and falls in love with construction company owner Mario Picard, New York college professor and author Elaine Netherlands feels she has had ``a change of luck.'' In her 30s, Elaine knows that she and Mario are culturally dissimilar--he is French Canadian, lacks much formal education and has a drug-addicted past. Yet the physical attraction between them seems stronger than the obstacles to their relationship. As Elaine weathers its emotional vicissitudes, the rest of her life is on a roller coaster, too. Her ex-husband, Larry, a famous photographer, is dying of cancer; his daughter Nola, who once rejected her stepmother, asks Elaine's help in launching a career as a punk rock singer; Elaine's publisher has bungled the marketing of her first novel. (Her editor tells her, sadly, that it is too ``literary'' to succeed; the negative approach is proven wrong when the book gets a PW box. Ironic details about the publishing industry are right on target.) Markus expertly interpolates a timely and accurate picture of upper-middle-class America in the '80s: widespread addictions to alcohol and drugs, economic hard times, the specter of AIDS. Although the plotting is somewhat manipulative, this is, overall, an intelligent novel with convincing characterizations and a provocative effect. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Ebook - 177 pages - 978-0-7867-5547-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-7867-5546-2
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