Love Unknown

A. N. Wilson, Author Viking Books $16.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-670-81758-0
The witty English author of Wise Virgin, Scandal and Gentlemen in England is more serious than usual in this probing investigation of the varieties of love. His initial, somewhat schematic design, following the lives of three young women who share a London flat in the '60s, quickly unravels into a tale with all the untidy quirkiness of life. At its heart is romantic Richeldis, who marries ardent Simon Longworth, a brilliant portrait of the inveterate, self-deluded philanderer. He becomes involved with Monica, the cool member of the trio who always seemed able to leave love well alone. Meanwhile, flighty Belinda flutters among marriages and affairs, the eternal outsider. Richeldis's mother Madge, an elderly, once-formidable publisher growing dottily senile, and Simon's brother Bartle, a messy, failed cleric, are among the other characters whose lives Wilson deftly weaves together. There are flaws, however: Madge's growing madness is illustrated at wearying length and some of the characters on the fringeSimon's secretary/mistress Ruth and Bartle's enigmatic Stephanie, for exampleseem condescended to by the author. Still, none of this gravely detracts from a performance that has Wilson's expected civilized skill, along with an unanticipated depth and poignancy. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-14-010190-4
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