Caroline Moorehead

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 179

[In Baby Love Joyce Maynard shows,] with humour sometimes verging on farcical, wryness, and a great deal of perception, what it is like to be young, American and female, trying to adjust what is expected of you to what you really feel…. [It is how her characters] live from day to day, and more particularly how they think, that is the subject of Baby Love. Joyce Maynard is very skilful when it comes to the crazy jumble that is thought, the inchoate muddle of fears, doubts, plans, memories and desires that fill people's minds; trivia alongside essentials.

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The contemporariness of … [many such] novels is one of their strongest and most attractive ingredients: the way they belong so firmly to their settings. Baby Love is a lexicon of modern America, its characters locked into pop music, instant food, fizzy drinks, television serials, and the conventions and morality of the times. It is a sexy, charming and often extremely funny book.

Caroline Moorhead, "Mocking Women," in The Spectator (© 1981 by The Spectator; reprinted by permission of The Spectator), Vol. 247, No. 8003, November 28, 1981, p. 27.

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Barbara Wilcox