The Year Roger Wasn't Well by Sarah Payne Stuart
A Novel

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Lizzie Reade has just graduated from Harvard, where for four years she didn't do a lick of work due to falling for depressed guys - she used to fall in love whenever she visited her brother at the local mental hospital. Now at twenty-three, she interviews for a typing job at WPRV, the public television station in Boston, where the sight of men wandering the hallways in rumpled hair and blue workshirts fills her with waves of emotion. The only problem is that whenever Lizzie gets near an electric typewriter, semicolons appear out of nowhere. "It; is; go;;od to; work; hard;;" she pounds out at record speed on the typing test. Luckily WPRV is so liberal that she gets the job anyway, and soon she gravitates to the cafeteria, where the intense looks between couples discussing racism or gingerroot weight the air with a sexual promise you could cut with a knife. Unfortunately the only time she makes an impression is the day she puts her hardboiled egg in the microwave to warm and presses the button marked "dinner." (It's amazing, really, how many particles one little egg can explode into; it almost makes her believe in atoms.). All Lizzie wants is to get married. In a few months she has four meaningful relationships. And then she meets . . . Roger Stoner, "a man who mixed his pleasure with pleasure," to quote his high school yearbook, is thirty and no longer drives a GTO or tells girls he loves them to get them into bed. Of course in 1974, it's no longer necessary to tell women you love them to get them into bed, particularly if you are a producer at a liberal public television station, where it's considered dishonest not to sleep with someone of the opposite sex. Women come to him in the darkness of editing rooms or at friends' houses on the Cape, where there aren't enough beds to go around. Roger has always assumed, however vaguely, that he will get married someday. Everybody gets married. Still, once or twice in the past year, he's wondered, in the detached manner

About Sarah Payne Stuart

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Stuart lives with her husband and three children.
Published March 1, 1994 by Harpercollins. 224 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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and Roger Stoner, who is ``everything she always detested in a guy: athletic, assured, unscrewed up.'' For his part, Roger is charmed by her wacky wit and offbeat style and falls hopelessly in love.

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Publishers Weekly

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While Roger constantly questions the depth of his love for Lizzie, and both partners halfheartedly cheat on each other, there's rarely any question that Lizzie loves Roger.

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