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Family Attractions
     

Family Attractions

by Judith Freeman
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Freeman's 11-story debut is an able chronicle of the ordinary, bittersweet routine of family life, but one wishes for more sparkle in her earthy, gentle prose. In the title story, a man marries a woman 25 years his junior and gradually assimilates into her family, but the specter of a hospitalized child forces a wedge between a young Mormon couple in ``Going out to Sea.'' In ``What Is This Movie?'' a mother demonstrates solidarity with a somewhat estranged daughter by deflating the tires of a car belonging to the younger woman's unfaithful lover; and the Mexican gardener of ``The Rake People'' abducts the beloved pet of a married client who refuses his affections. A number of stories depict characters on the threshold of change: a UPS man delivers a package to a lonely widow on her birthday and stays for dinner in ``The Joan Crawford Letter''; a woman who breaks off a relationship with a married man musters strength and resolve from her family in ``Camp Rose''; a converted Mormon's recovery from a grave illness brings him closer to faith in the pagan magic of nature but spurs his wife to renounce the last vestiges of her Catholicism in ``The Death of a Mormon Elder.'' (Mormons figure in several pieces but, with the exception of this story, the background details are, unfortunately, not developed.) (February)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In these 11 stories, Freeman relies monotonously on unrelated episodes and descriptions, allowing them to confuse the already aimless plots. Given the absence of necessary foreshadowing and introduction of characters with little education who disclose esoteric literary knowledge, deep philosophical reflections, and learned vocabularies when they think and talk, the stories lack credibility. Irrelevant sex does not boost the too-evident story formulas. These stories read like rough drafts for sticoms or soap-opera segments; almost all have little direction or substance. An inferior collection. Glenn O. Carey, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140105339
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/1989
Series:
Contemporary American Fiction
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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