Marital Assets

Bruce Ducker, Author Permanent Press (NY) $28 (252p) ISBN 978-1-877946-26-4
Ducker ( Bankroll ) surveys the subtle, treacherous landscape of love and betrayal in this poignant story of four middle-aged, well-to-do friends. Journal entries by 61-year-old New York City lawyer Charles Meredith tell of events that began 15 years earlier, when he and his wife Evelyn, vacationing in the Caribbean, met William (Weemo) and Claudia Abbott. Third-person narratives supply additional viewpoints, which let readers know before Charles does that a friendly foursome has turned into an adulterous love triangle. Claudia, who was adopted, seeks Charles's help when her wealthy grandfather leaves his fortune only to ``heirs of the body.'' Claudia and Charles, who early on declares that he has lived his life ``without passion,'' have an unconsummated romance, while Weemo and Evelyn enjoy a brief affair. California lawyer Jeremy Slatkin, aiding Charles in Claudia's case, joins their summer vacation in Aspen and leads the way to the suit's settlement. Claudia leaves Weemo, but not for Charles, whose reminiscences are full of both regret and acceptance. Ducker's unadorned yet elegant prose is well suited to his characters, the self-contained members of the ``leisure class at leisure.'' (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1993
Release date: 04/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
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