Most helpful positive review
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Shine on, Laurie
on December 26, 2001
In my trips through Contemporary American Literature I have not found anyone with better sense for character development than Laurie Colwin. What a shame she died so young! I have read a few of her other novels, but nowhere is this skill better shown than in this work. In this story, a young woman (Olly) becomes a widow after her husband (the `bright and dangerous' of the title) dies in a boating accident. She and her brother in law grieve together, and almost as a consequence they fall in love. This story, explain so succinctly, sounds like it came from a pulp romance. In fact, it is slightly corny in its premise. However, Laurie Colwin depicts the pain, the anguish, the disbelief, and the whole array of emotions that the main characters go through. She does it in such a detailed, intimate way, that I would recommend this book to anyone that is going through a grieving process.
But! I could not give it five start because of Part III. Part I deals mostly with the blow, the sadness and the moving on, and Part II with Olly's new life as a widow in NYC. But Part III focuses on her trip to music camp, and what develops there. Without giving too much of the story away, I do not understand how Olly, now happily in love, could justify her behavior. It is all explained in there, I have to admit that. But my shortcomings as a reader get in the way, and I was disappointed about the ending. In any case, this is a great book, and a prime example of the exquisite skill that Laurie Colwin left us with.