Attic Light

Carol Burnham, Author Permanent Press (NY) $22 (192p) ISBN 978-1-877946-88-2
The sun is hot, the sand is white and the bodies are tanned, but this tale of sexual obsession never gets the mercury to budge. Travel writer Kate consummates her liaison with sullen archeologist Nick after he says to her, halfway through their first meal, ""Let's find a bed, shall we?"" At his remote island retreat in the southern Aegean, various overeducated friends drop by for meals worthy of Julia Child and conversations that sound like Ph.D. dissertations. It's implied that the characters have great sex, but only once do we actually read about any. When Kate flings open a door one evening and finds Nick with a lithe young thing, she leaves him to marry safe boyfriend Henry, but she can't stay away from Nick for long, and eventually her addiction leads to violence. We're supposed to plumb the depths of Kate's soul and understand why she needs Nick. But depths are hard to find as first-time novelist Burnham casts us adrift in a sea of two-dimensional characters and flat, predictably ""exotic"" details. Next time, more passion--and hold the moussaka. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
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