My Occasional Torment

Bee Robb, Five Star, $25.95 (358p) ISBN 978-1-59414-923-8
A woman is haunted by a specter of romantic failure in Robb's substance-free romp. The only things marring the otherwise perfect marriage of Julia and Sebastian Connery are Julia's fears of Sebastian's one long-ago indiscretion repeating itself and a nasty figment of Julia's imagination who believes no relationship can withstand the test of time. The apparition offers Julia a deal—find a couple still in love after 50 years and it will leave. Julia's attempts to do so lead her to her gangster-obsessed father-in-law's retirement community, dinners with a next-door neighbor dubbed "The Vampire," and eventually back into the arms of her loving, eccentric husband. The supporting cast is reliably charming and goofy, much more so than Julia, whose insecurities and hangups come across as little more than annoying adornments, a real shame considering how central they are to the story. The lack of dramatic tension saps the potential provided by the ancillary comic eccentricities. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
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