Foreign Matter

Robert MacLean, Author Atheneum Books $0 (237p) ISBN 978-0-689-11940-8
Toby Tucker is the feckless, likable hero of this comic tale of modern undirected life. After supporting himself in Europe as a tour guide, Toby takes up with Marcie, a young American widow whose allowance from Hazelton Harding, her wealthy father-in-law, guarantees a lifestyle Toby is sure he was born for. When Haze threatens to cut off Marcie so she'll move back to the States with her daughtera precocious youngster Toby warily refers to as ""the child''Toby alternately falls and steps into a plot to reestablish the status quo: Haze covets an abstract painting owned by a woman who lives on a Greek island and Toby will help him get it. He, Marcie and ``the child'' join Haze at the woman's villa, along with her teenaged American daughter and her French tutor, the artist who created the coveted painting, a pair of unlikely butlers and an old expatriate friend of Toby's. The plan accelerates out of control, involving assorted liaisons, the three-time destruction and restoration of the painting, its theft and rediscovery and, at the conclusion, thanks to ``the child,'' a happy ending for nearly every one of the vivid characters who cavort across the pages of this fresh and spirited first novel. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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