The Girls: A Story of Village Life

John Bowen, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $0 (182p) ISBN 978-0-87113-137-9
An unqualified delight, Bowen's new novel could not succeed with less skillful handling. The versatile author and playwright follows his well-received The McGuffin with a deceptively artless story about ""the girls,'' Jan Hallas and Sue Bert. At home among friendly villagers in a Cotswold community, Jan and Sue are lovers who support themselves by selling handicrafts at their shop. A crisis takes Sue away, leaving Jan desolate; at a fair, she meets Alan, also lonely without his partner Bob. The result is Jan's sole sexual experience with a man. Back home, she forgets the incident, resuming a serene life with Sue whose return is happily celebrated. So is the birth of Jan's baby, nine months later. Sue and the neighbors accept and love the little boy, with no questions. Then Alan arrives, meaning only to visit Jan and having no idea that he has sired a son. But to Sue, Alan is a threat that she disposes of on impulse, generating a series of wild actions. Bowen rates superlatives for his alternately moving, frightening, hilarious novel andabove allfor the unsuspected, ultimate surprise. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 978-0-452-26077-1
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