September Faces

Seymour Epstein, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (329p) ISBN 978-1-55611-038-2
Dan and Sara Singer, beset by retirement syndrome, take over a friend's house at the Jersey Shore where a change of scene presumably will ease their change of circumstance. Dan, a professor of English, plans to write a book,; his actress wife will help him with the research ; but a chance meeting with Anne Bellamy, a former student, and her husband Mark embroils the Singers so inexorably in the lives of the young couple that there is little room for other activity. Sexual and personality difficulties threaten both marriages, and, inevitably perhaps, Dan, having learned that Sara long ago betrayed him with a colleague, sleeps with Anne. Shortly thereafter she divorces Mark and moves to California, where Dan, on a visit to his daughter, renews their acquaintance but not their intimacy. He returns to Sara to work out a relationship now subtly but salutarily altered. Since events are enacted and confusions expressed from Dan's point of view, his is the only fully fleshed-out character, the one whose compassion, intelligence and moral strength attract the reader. With the exception of Mark Bellamy, the half dozen or so other players introduced into the drama are not as compelling. But in his determination to ponder marital problems exacerbated by age and self-doubt, Epstein (A Special Destiny produces what many never manage: a memorable portrait of his protagonist and Dan Singer's time of life. (September 1)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1987
Release date: 09/01/1987
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