Phil Benson might have become a brilliant concert pianist had he not been so in love with his childhood sweetheart Katie, who had her own obsession--fear of nuclear holocaust. We follow them from the 1950s to the 1980s--from Katie's break off, so as not to hold Phil back from a music scholarship, to Chernobyl. Though Katie marries someone else (he has a bomb shelter), she is so terrified at the time of the Cuban missile crisis that she calls Phil back, and through a devious trick of her jealous husband, spends the next two weeks imprisoned with Phil in the dark, dreary shelter. So much fear and togetherness have a profound effect on both their lives, somehow freeing Katie to become a normal, healthy woman, but turning Phil into a loser, drifting from one job to another. Unfortunately, the situation and characters in this novel just don't seem believable. Kennedy is the author of Faces (LJ 8/87), a collection of short stories. St . Hiroshima was first published in England in 1987. - Marion Hanscom, SUNY at Binghamton Lib. Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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