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Starcarbon: A Meditation on Love

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The fiction of Ellen Gilchrist has always walked the line between being brainy and sentimental, but her latest novel, Starcarbon: A Meditation of Love, is pure saccharine. It features a former high school cheerleader, her ex-football star boyfriend, and their families in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Though Starcarbon is set in the ’90s and contains crude references to sex and clumsy stabs at multiculturalism, it still has a squeaky-clean, almost-’50s feel. ”I’m mighty glad to be here with you folks,” these people tell each other. As usual, Gilchrist has created a charismatic cast of manly men and mercurial women. Unfortunately, their story is less a meditation on love than a celebration of Luv.