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Man and wife : a novel
Tony Parsons
Adult Fiction PARSONS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Parsons is the author of Man and Boy, a sentimental tale of a savvy London TV producer learning to come to terms with his small son after a divorce. That book was a runaway success in the author's native land and scored a large paperback sale in the U.S.; now Parsons has a new American publisher. He does not, however, have a very new story to tell, and as the title indicates, this is essentially a sequel. Harry Silver is remarried to upwardly mobile caterer Cyd, who also has a child, Peggy, by a previous marriage. It is hard enough for Harry to make friends with Peggy and cope with a wife whose work keeps her out of the house a lot, but he must also keep in touch with his son, Pat, whom former wife Gina is whisking off to the States with her new husband. There are a lot of rather formulaic situations here, and Parsons is determined to milk every situation for a possible tear or two, including Harry's ill-advised romance with a lovely Japanese photographer. What prevents the book from dissolving into pure mush is Parsons's eye for the humor in awkward situations-the supermarket scene in which Peggy blandly makes Harry out to be a child molester is beautifully done-and his nostalgic feeling for an older generation made of sterner stuff: his portrait of Harry's aging mum, battling cancer, is the best part of the book. There's a real writer at work here. (Feb.) Forecast: It's interesting to see issues normally treated in women's fiction from a male point of view, but Parsons's rather self-congratulatory style won't be to all tastes. Atria is sending him on a 10-city tour. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This sequel to Parsons's Man and Boy carries on with the life of TV producer Harry Silver and his continued faltering through the realms of parenthood, marriage, and love. Plagued by selfishness, jealousy, and testosterone, Harry doesn't see how his actions directly contribute to the growing distance within his second marriage to Cyd, a fairly faultless wife. Purporting to be wild about her, he nonetheless follows up on his attraction to another woman. Claiming to love his young son and stepdaughter, Harry seems blithely unaware of their need for stability and his obligation as the father to provide it. In short, he has lessons to learn. Parsons is a media celebrity in Britain, where his earlier novel was widely acclaimed. Perhaps this one will sell, too, even though it reads like an episodic mishmash tied together by the platitudinous musings of an unsympathetic middle-aged guy. Recommended for large public libraries only.-Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Harry Silver
Age: 30s
Television producer

Harry's second wife; her catering business is wildly popular.


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