cover image A Truce with Time

A Truce with Time

Parke Godwin. Spectra Books, $16.95 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-553-05201-5

Falling somewhere between a conventional romance novel and tepid fantasy fiction, Godwin's latest effort is a lackluster affair. Pat Landry, a writer of historical romances, falls in love with Lauren Hodge, a prizewinning video artist. Their courtship progresses from Soho loft parties to trendy Manhattan restaurants and clubs, and finally to bed, usually at her apartment. Pat and Lauren, both 50, carry a lot of emotional baggage. Lauren's mother is dying of Alzheimer's disease; her daughter disapproves of her lifestyle. Pat, an alcoholic, is in a quandary about whether to accept a book contract that represents a sellout. Moreover, he is, literally, haunted by the ghosts of his parents and siblings, who actively take over his life. Scenes involving the Landry clan, both past and present, are interspliced with the central narration, a device that loses its edge very soon. The result is a tense, painful novel, with only scattershot effectiveness. (June)