cover image The Housewife Blues

The Housewife Blues

Warren Adler. Crown Publishing Group (NY), $20 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59172-7

Plucked from the bosom of her Indiana family by a whirlwind marriage to a slick talker from a Manhattan ad agency, Jenny Burns is thrilled to move to New York to become a perfect housewife. Adler ( The War of the Roses ) plants tongue firmly in cheek as he sends his wide-eyed, corn-fed heroine up against the yuppie element. Although Jenny's husband, Larry, is a blustering prig who bawls her out for fraternizing with the neighbors, she soon becomes the midwestern Mother Teresa in their East Side brownstone, doling out meatloaf and oddly modest sexual favors, offering redemption to an impotent art dealer and a suicidal salesman and helping hush up an affair gone awry in the life of a brittle, chic Vanity Fair editor. Larry, meantime, wheels and deals and belittles his wife until her rose-colored vision of him fades. In this breezy, bitingly funny novel, Adler creates an adept lineup of New York types, such as Larry's unshaven, expensively rumpled business partner Vincent, who clash with Jenny's wholesome aura in a string of amusing, though predictable, scenes that build to a gratifying climax. (Sept.)