by Pam Alster
Note to fellow guys: Avoid women with daddy issues. They may be great in bed, but their baggage will need a train of elephants to schlep to divorce court. Robin’s Blue is a girl’s eye view of this road to ruin, and it’s not a bad summer read. Robin doesn’t get along with dad, and at 17 she packs up and heads to Myrtle Beach with a suitcase, a $5 bill, and the sort of body that makes men go, “You’ll do.” She does and so do they and any sort of potential intimacy is enough for her to settle down for the weekend. There’s the abusive marriage, the quickie divorces, a flirt with lesbianism, and a string of steadily more risky hook ups. At some point she goes from easy party girl to high class hooker and the money’s not bad even if the dates are. All of this takes place against the backdrop of the 1980’s AIDS and coke epidemics, and Robin is lucky to get out alive. Along the way she meets a chef, gets a recommendation to culinary school, and when the cocaine gets too intense, she’s at least got a plan “B.”
There are 72 chapters in the chubby little paperback, and none of them are more than three or four pages, so you’re always at a good breaking point. The first-person narrative is breezy and concise, the action just erotic enough to keep you engaged but never Penthouse specific. You know every man she meets is a clunk long before she does, and when we are not discussing the frailties of modern romance, there are elaborate descriptions of her fashions. I’m no maven, but this fictitious character can shop all the way from Rodeo Drive down to Salvation Army and still look hot. I don’t exactly pity her, and I don’t exactly admire her, but Robin is a tough survivor, and her life makes for an interesting story.