Lucid Stars

Lucid Stars

by Andrea Barrett, A Barrett
     
 

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From the 1996 National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever and Other Stories. What begins as a classic boy-meets-girl tale in 1955 becomes something far different when marriage and two children do not bring a family closer together. Lucid Stars is the moving story of how one family learns to survive by becoming a planetary system that just happens to be missing

Overview

From the 1996 National Book Award-winning author of Ship Fever and Other Stories. What begins as a classic boy-meets-girl tale in 1955 becomes something far different when marriage and two children do not bring a family closer together. Lucid Stars is the moving story of how one family learns to survive by becoming a planetary system that just happens to be missing its sun.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Delta Fiction's fine debut is marked by a quietly charming, seductive first novel whose author launches a career that promises to be as bright as the constellations that inform these pages. The dynamics of the modern broken home and the complex relationships engendered by divorce and remarriage are limned here with rare sensitivity and insight. The agile Barrett convincingly relates the story from the diverse perspectives of two mothers and two daughters. In her skilled hands, a 23-year time span is credible and the star motif never stales. Penny finds solace, self-affirmation and freedom in astronomy, and her strength and passion bolster her ex-husband Ben's second family, whom he eventually abandons for a third. Her daughter Cass, wounded and confused by her parents' divorce and her father's incapacity to love, knows that childhood is a cruel status: ``They're trapped in these small bodies, stuck in a land where the natives treat them as if they're deaf, blind, and crippled . . . . Her only refuge is that place inside her head where she retreats with her books and her projects.'' Although he links the other protagonists, the hypnotic Ben remains a deliberately vague character because he is a black hole``What goes into him goes in and is lost forever.'' Major ad/promo. (September)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Depicting two decades in the life of a Cape Cod family and the relationships that arise from its dissolution, this first novel is a moving exploration of the nature of family. The story focuses on the women and children in the orbit of Ben Day, playboy skier turned real estate developer. Ben's need for the reassurance of younger women wrecks havoc with those around him. It first ends his marriage to Penny, the independent woman with a passion for astronomy he meets at a New Hampshire resort, and later to Diane, his pretty but vapid secretary. For those hurt by Ben, healing comes in an unusual forma loose-knit ``family'' composed of his ex-wives and children as well as various relatives and lovers, a family that provides a love and acceptance not found with the emotionally destructive Ben. An impressive debut. Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.
James Marcus
In her first novel, Andrea Barrett enlists the whole empyrean - Orion through Libra through Pegasus - to serve as a backdrop for and sad commentary on a dissolving family....Initially the prose in this sidereal drama suffers from a certain slackness, but as the novel gains momentum it deepens, and Ms. Barrett's language adeptly rises, or falls, to portray occasions of considerable unhappiness. She also possesses the gift of forgiving her characters more readily than they do one another - which is neither more nor less than they deserve. In doing so, she has made a spacious and sympathetic debut. -- New york Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440550006
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/15/1988
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.09(h) x 0.86(d)

What People are saying about this

Bret Lott
"Lucid Stars is an astonishing book about women coming to terms not only with men, but with each other....hers is an important and beautiful voice, one we need here with us."

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