Men

Margaret Diehl, Author Soho Press $17.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-939149-14-8
The protagonist of Diehl's wise and witty first novel is Stella James, who was raised in New Hampshire by her grandmother, Lally Porter after her parents, who had lived with Lally after their elopement, ran away together when Stella was six. The two most important things in Stella's life are cooking and men. Most of the novel relates her various experiments in love, graphically but not crudely. Her first romantic liaison, while she is still in high school, is with Tobias, a young poet. But he breaks Stella's heart when she surprises him one day in bed with a young man. At college there is Teo, a spoiled New Yorker in whose parents' chic apartment they spend the summer after school is out. When Teo's love of liquor outweighs his lust, Stella's frustration leads her to other men, and she finds herself strongly aroused by, and even addicted to, sex with strangers. Teo's final gift to Stella is a plane ticket to San Francisco, where she settles down contentedly as a cook in a restaurant. At this point Frank, a photographer, enters Stella's life, and eventually she has to weigh her relationship with him against her compulsive desire for others. Diehl writes as pungently about food as she does about love and its pains and pleasures. This is an immensely appealing novel whose heroine is endearing and memorable. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-56947-095-4
Paperback - 978-0-671-68232-3
Paperback - 978-0-671-70256-4
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