Disappearing Acts has been called an urban romance. It is, in essence, simply another New York City love story, as funny as the best works of Neil Simon. Underneath the wisecracks, the idiotic behavior, and the foolish misunderstandings that qualify McMillan’s novel as a romantic comedy there is a serious exploration of the nature of human relationships.
It is never easy for one person to love another; when two people differ as much as the lovers in Disappearing Acts, it is particularly difficult. Zora Banks is an educated, ambitious black woman, a gifted singer and songwriter who is supporting herself temporarily by teaching music in a junior high school. Franklin Swift is a construction worker with a high school equivalency diploma who for years has been thinking about going to night school and starting his own business. He has as yet done nothing about it. As Zora soon finds out, however, there is more to Franklin than his striking good looks and his talent for lovemaking. He is responsible; he does his best to support the wife from whom he is not yet divorced and the two children he had with her. He is generous; early in their relationship, he surprises Zora with three hundred dollars so that she can get her piano out of layaway. He is intelligent; even though he never finished high school, he can beat Zora at every word game they play. Moreover, in his attitude toward woodworking, Franklin exhibits the same kind of artistic...
(The entire section is 565 words.)