From Publishers Weekly
opular and prolific Brown (Rubyfruit Jungle, etc.) lavishes her attention and breathless prose on another lesbian coming-of-age tale set in Southern belle territory. Victoria "Vic" Savedge is a gorgeous 22-year-old senior at the College of William and Mary in present-day Virginia. Her parents, Frank and R.J., little sister Mignon and best friend Jinx Baptista all expect Vic to marry her rich football star boyfriend Charly Harrison after graduation. However, in the opening scene, Vic meets Chris Carter, a female transfer student to whom she is increasingly attracted. Their flirtatious behavior deflates any suspense Brown may have hoped to create; it's clear Vic's commitment to Charly is shaky. As she unconvincingly struggles to choose between lovers, Vic ponders with Jinx the roles fate, honor and individual responsibility play in life. During weekend visits to her ancestral home, Surry Crossing, Va., Vic is entertained by the smalltown antics of her womanizing Uncle Don and sex-deprived Aunt Bunny, and the Wallaces, neighboring middle-aged sisters who pathetically vie for their elderly father's favor. Brown's tendency to tell rather than show ("Raised in a judgmental family, Chris had survived by nourishing her sense of rebellion. She didn't know what she was looking for until she met Vic") and filler dialogue ("Sit down. It's my turn to give you a Coke" and "Mother, do you want a refill?" "No, thank you. But you may clean the ashtray") wear on the reader, and the one-dimensional characters and soap opera story line provide little relief. Brown's good-natured humor and exuberant treatment of her themes may satisfy her fans, but she's unlikely to pick up new readers this time around. 8-city author tour.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
Brown, the author of the Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries, returns to her lesbian roots in Alma Mater. Vic and Chris are two coeds who meet at William and Mary College and, much to their surprise, are mutually attracted and launch an intense affair. Though Vic is involved with the star football player, and though neither woman has ever considered the possibility that she might not be heterosexual, this life-changing turn of events does not seem to faze either of them. Brown usually excels at offbeat characters, and while she does offer readers an amusing and outlandish supporting cast (thanks to the Southern locale), her latest novel lacks the freshness and believability of her now classic Rubyfruit Jungle. Still, fans will welcome her return to the theme of her earlier work. Recommended for most public libraries.- Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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