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July 14, 1996|CHARLES SOLOMON

SPLITTING by Fay Weldon (Atlantic Monthly Press: $12, 246 pp.). After a brief fling as a rock star, Angelica White, the heroine of this mischievously funny novel, marries Edwin, the youngest son of a dotty lord. She soon discovers that "all the world, which was meant to love a lover, plainly didn't." As their sterile marriage crumbles, Angelica finds her psyche splitting into its components: crisply competent Jelly; uninhibited Angel; mournful, proper Lady Rice. As she gains the strength to re-integrate herself, Angelica administers rewards and punishments like a latter-day Mary Poppins.

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