Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyLowry's fourth novel features well-educated, attractive Hale and Diana Caldwell, who live in the Texas hill country where Hale breeds and trains racing quarterhorses and Diana gardens assiduously. Dynamic and well-organized as the Caldwells appear to be, their family life is in acute crisis. Their son Roger has dropped out of college and works as a cook in California; daughter Bethany is on probation in a residential program for teenagers, having participated in a car theft. Hale's business is overextended, and he is drinking heavily. Diana, her academic career and extramarital affairs equally unsuccessful, is painfully conscious that she and Hale have failed to become the perfect parents they set out to be. In clear, measured prose Lowry copiously and meticulously describes the Caldwells gardening, cooking and caring for their horses, but this contributes little to our understanding and becomes tiresome. There are good sketches of minor characters, lifelike dialogue and a gripping conclusionbut the reader's interest is seized too late, and the final drama does not substitute for lack of depth, coherence or a commanding voice. (August)
Library Journal - Library JournalHale and Diana Caldwell have escaped the chaos of urban existence and taken up residence in the hills outside Austin, aiming for a simple and idyllic life of breeding racehorses, gardening, and cooking. All should be well, but both their marriage and teenage children are floundering. Daughter Bethany has gotten into some trouble with the law and is residing at Cedar Hills Therapeutic Community, while older brother Roger has lost his focus temporarily and come home for an extended stay to offer his parents emotional support. Though well-intentioned, the Caldwells are oddly reticent in their expression of inner feelings, and so the reader feels a certain helplessness while following their struggle to love and understand one another. Kimberly G. Allen, Georgetown Univ. Law Lib., Washington, D.C.
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