UNUSUAL COMPANY by Margaret Erhart (E. P. Dutton: $17.95; 225 pp.).
This first novel, written in the first-person, is about Franny, a woman in her early 20s who is initiated into love by Claire, 10 years her senior. (All characters, including Franny's parents, are referred to by first names only.) The action, such as it is, travels from New York to the Northwest Coast to Santa Fe, but this is a novel in which setting has little relevance and plot even less. There is plenty of graphic, often violent sex, and plenty of talk, including musings about Eve and the serpent. There is also frequent mention of voyeurism, and the reader is de facto a voyeur of Franny's consciousness-raising.
Some may be allured by a central character who proclaims that the "grand event" of the winter season following her lone trek cross country was to be presented with a glimpse of her own cervix ("There I was-- my womb!"), but it was all this reviewer could do to keep from pulling down the shade. Too bad. Margaret Erhart is an accomplished craftsperson and capable of some beautiful imagery. Unfortunately, all gets drowned in a humorless sea of Me, Myself and I.