Books: A Good Man's Hard to Find

THE BEST OF HUSBANDS (343 pp.)—Alba de Cespedes—Macmillan ($3.75).

The theme of this novel seems to be that a good man is hard to find.

As an adolescent growing up in Rome, Alessandra Corteggiani wonders how her parents ever happened to marry. Her father is a boor who unfailingly pours the sour wine of shop talk at the evening meal. Her mother is an amateur pianist with an outlook on life as romantic and melancholy as a Chopin nocturne. When Sandra's mother falls in love with an effete aristocrat, Papa Corteggiani crushes her with a phrase or two, e.g., "All women are ....

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