Women Drinking Benedictine

Sharon Dilworth, Author Ohio State University Press $38.95 (168p) ISBN 978-0-8142-0812-0
In this collection of 10 well-crafted but low-key stories, Dilworth sticks mostly to flat, cautious sentences and characters. In the first tale, ""Keeping the Wolves at Bay,"" Steve is caught between an awkward relationship with Max, his late father's longtime companion, and his own disintegrating love affair. Steve hurries back from a tedious European holiday with Max to his fiancee, but she breaks off the engagement. His sexual affinity now resolved, he takes the next flight back to Paris, hoping to rejoin Max, but discovers that the older man is faithless. The story ends on a scene of frustration and futility, the characteristic atmosphere in which Dilworth's characters move. In ""This Month of Charities,"" ""Figures on the Shore"" and ""Three Fat Women of (Pittsburgh just visiting) Antibes,"" the characters' sexual frustration and idleness never lead to a cathartic act that would effectively engage the reader. The title story is compelling, however. Its plot, actually about the rivalry between two sisters, takes an awkward detour into absurdly unlikely murder attempts, but the narrator, Caroline, is one of Dilworth's most sympathetic characters, especially in her tender, sincere friendship with Denny, the town's alcoholic bartender. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1998
Release date: 10/01/1998
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 168 pages - 978-0-8142-5012-9
Ebook - 215 pages - 978-1-4804-3610-7
Open Ebook - 200 pages - 978-1-938604-73-7
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