Handsome Women

Judith Henry Wall, Author Viking Books $19.95 (528p) ISBN 978-0-670-82652-0
Women absorbed in the armed forces, in this case two sisters whose lives are shaped by the evolving careers of their husbands, provide the subject of this uneven novel. Born into a military family, Louise and Marynell dream of West Point weddings. Louise, serious and naive, lands the best catch at the Point, marries early and spends years in wifely devotion and sexual subjugation to her rising-star husband, who eventually becomes a general and superintendent of the Point. For the beautiful Marynell, the dream of a crossed-sabres wedding does not materialize. Although she marries an officer, he is a widower whose ambitions, she is disconcerted to discover, lie outside the military. Wall ( Love and Duty ) follows the sisters through the dislocations of military postings, wartime separations that force them into constrained existences, to their children and their friends, many of whom are involved in anti-Vietnam causes. Although soapy at times, at its best this bulky novel possesses an entertaining immediacy. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
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