But When She Was Bad...

Isaac Adams, Author, Lou Peddicord, Joint Author Permanent Press (NY) $16 (216p) ISBN 978-1-57962-067-7
The narrator of Peddicord's debut effort is a successful commercial photographer, Gil Wexler, whose wife, Jillian, dies in a car wreck, leaving Gil with young three children. When the widower meets Annie White, she's separated from her first husband and renting a room from a friend of Gil's, Billy Greckle. Although Gil doesn't love Annie, he decides to marry her after she becomes pregnant. But Annie miscarries on their wedding day, an event that Gil reads as feminine manipulation. Soon after, Gil and Annie do have a child, Todd, but the marriage is doomed, and they divorce. The mess isn't over yet, however; Annie tries to get sole custody of Todd by threatening to prove that the four-year-old is not Gil's son. Then Gil discovers the ""Jurnal"" of seven-year-old Wolfie, his son by Jillian. Wolfie has followed Annie around and witnessed her assignations with another man, so it's quite possible that Todd's paternity is indeed in doubt. Gil wants revenge, and can best hurt Annie through Todd. Gil's grotesquely obese lawyer employs the ""Jurnal"" to brand Annie a slut in court, thus depriving her of Todd and her alimony. As Annie is punished, the victors gloat so greedily over her humiliation that the thrust of the novel feels uncomfortably exhibitionist, as if Peddicord had exorcised some private grudge at the reader's expense. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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