The Marzipan Pigeon

Alyssa Donati, Author Simon & Schuster $20.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-86889-5
Girl gets boy in chapter four of this Manhattan melodrama, the debut of a former soap-opera actress, and after that, the novel seems to lose its way. Salty, who's 23, can't remember a time when she hasn't been in love with Minty. Raised by Minty's family after her own parents were killed in an accident, Salty now shares an apartment with him, though not a bed. Her unrequited love is heightened by proximity as, aided by trust funds, she and Minty launch their careers and prowl Manhattan's night scene. At last, stung by the ease with which Minty picks up (and discards) women, Salty seduces him, and the two seem destined for a blissful future. But just as Salty lands a role on a soap opera, Minty's career as a painter takes off, and the social demands made on him by the city's hip art scene threaten their relationship. With world-weary commentary on the partying and mating habits of New York's chic trendsetters, the chainsmoking Salty narrates a novel set squarely in the genre of Bright Lights, Big City and Slaves of New York . While the scenes devoted to the shooting of a TV soap ring true and are quite interesting, the work fails both as satire and in its rendering of the major characters. For all her purported jadedness, Salty is an old-fashioned girl, and her discovery of drug use among the fashion crowd is both heavy-handed and predictable. Although one wishes Salty well, she's not a terribly engaging heroine; there's little surprise or irony in this rather plodding story of a woman's coming-of-age. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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