In Praise of Love

DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN BY LOVE (287 pp.)—Nicholas Monsarrat—Knopf ($2.75).

In these three novelettes, a young Englishman has fashioned pleasantly simple one-thread stories about love and the contrasting ways in which it is expressed.

The most ambitious of the three is the worst. Leave Cancelled is written as the private letter of an English army officer in which he recalls to his wife all the intimate details of their last 24 hours together. It is dreadfully sincere—and dreadfully embarrassing. By writing the story in the first person singular, Monsarrat deprives himself of whatever ironic distance he might otherwise have been...

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