AT HER AGE by Marian Novick (Scribners: $15.95, hard-cover; $8.95, paperback). A first novel, Marian Novick's "At Her Age" tickled this reader's funny bone on one page and provoked a tear on the next. The book entertains.
Molly Vorobey, the main character, runs away from home, home being the Wallace A. Dalton Senior Citizens Complex in Miami. The high point of her stay there has been learning how to make a bird feeder out of a Clorox bottle. Molly plops her 75-year-old body into a taxi and heads for the bank to clean out her account, a grand total of $3,482.61. Molly's first investment is in a telephone call, not to her daughter but to Paul, the only engaging male living at the complex. She invites him to fly to New York with her, even offers to buy his ticket. Paul declines. He just doesn't have Molly's nerve. That nerve takes Molly from Bloomingdale's to the Russian Tea Room, through strolls down Fifth Avenue, topped by nights spent in a fancy hotel. But even spirited Molly is shocked at what happens to her on the streets of New York. Only then can she accept the love her daughter and family so desperately want to give.