By People Staff
November 26, 1979 12:00 PM

by Angela Huth

Some fairytale notions about romance—and life in general—dissolve under tickling irony in this short story collection by an English novelist. You can love two people at once, she suggests; the ideal marriage can get stale; and you don’t always wind up with Mr. or Ms. Right. Life is inconsistent, love inconstant—the best to hope for is a sturdy sense of humor. The stories are brief, but the characters are delineated with precise British wit. In “Azaleas for Sale,” Isabella’s voice is a “bandaged rattle”; she still sees her doddering husband as the sexual creature he may once have been. Alice (in “Mind of Her Own”) is a responsible wife and mother whose life is dictated by “yellow sensations,” a stifling selflessness. When she quietly asserts herself, her family quietly puts her away. She quietly goes. This is only the second of Huth’s works published in the U.S.; if there are more like this lying about, they should be shipped over without delay. (Clarkson Potter, $8.95)