Books: A Surfeit of Love

BLACK SUMMER (312 pp.)—Nancy Hale—Little, Brown ($4.95).

Novelist Nancy Hale specializes in exposes of the American family. In her finely chiseled novels and short stories, she has shown an unfailing eye for the intricacies of the ordinary household, the small gestures that lead to major disasters. Her latest novel is a delicately Freudian one about a family living in a swank small town north of New York.

Dora Harmsworth is frigid, while her husband Malcolm is a great prig. To make up for the lack of physical love, the pair chatter incessantly about love in the abstract.

Into this edgy household comes the perfect...

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