Suzette Mayr kickstarts Moon Honey (NeWest Press, 216 pages, $14.95 paper) with an unusual transformation: Carmen, an eighteen-year-old white waitress, becomes miraculously black-a change her fiancÚ, Griffin, is not at all adverse to, having "always wanted to sleep with a black woman." His racist mother, Fran, on the other hand, wants her beloved only child to have nothing to do with Carmen, is outraged that he wants to marry her. Fran is married to Godfrey-God for short-and having an affair with her boss. (Eventually she dies and turns into a bird, but that's a different transformation.) If all this sounds a bit surreal, it is. But there's more: Griffin goes to Europe for eight months and while he's gone, Carmen goes to bed with his friend Kevin. When Griffin returns, he doesn't want to marry Carmen anyway-he wants to marry Renata whom he met in Europe. But Renata, in a fit of self-revelation, runs off with Mika, a lesbian liquor store cashier.
The theme of metamorphosis predominates; all the women change in some way. It's unfortunate that none of them inspire the slightest bit of empathy. The novel is too self-conscious, contrived. It never loses its flavour of parody; whether this is intentional or not is quite clear.