Dear Digby

Carol Muske-Dukes, Author Viking Books $16.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-670-82506-6
This silly, sentimental valentine of a book is saved by Dukes's natural flair for comedy. Willis Jane Digby is the letters editor of SISTERHOOD magazine (known as SIS ), a sort of liberated Ladies' Home Journal . Most of the letters she receives are the humdrum, run-of-the-mill kind, but there are some that Digby--whose wacky sense of humor has her sitting behind her desk wearing a tuxedo and rabbit ears--can't resist answering. She prints the weirdest ones in her bi-monthly column. Correspondents include Dino Pedrelli, a short, horny man who threatens to rape the staff; a creepy guy who signs himself ``The Watcher'' and who seems to follow her every move; and Iris Moss, a patient at a mental institute where, she claims, she's being sexually assaulted. Digby takes Iris's letters seriously and notifies the local paper, which discovers a massive cover-up of a longstanding practice of sexual abuse. There are various subplots too: Digby's faltering marriage, her unresolved feelings about her father and her involvement in the shooting death of a childhood friend. All these strings are tied together at the end when Digby learns that women--and perhaps men--are ``anarchists for love.'' (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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