Mr. Field's Daughter

Mr. Field's Daughter

by Richard Bausch

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The sensitivity to emotional nuances that Bausch's work has always demonstrated, especially in last year's short-story collection, Spirits , is again evident in this deeply felt novel that explores the ties between father and daughter. When teenaged Annie Field runs off from her home in Duluth to marry feckless drug dealer Cole Gilbertson, her father, James, who has raised her on his own, is devastated. His heartbreak begins to heal when Annie leaves Cole and returns home with her four-year-old daughter Linda. Over the next few years, Field becomes as attached to Linda as he was to her mother, and is ambivalent about Annie's imminent remarriage to an older man. Before this can take place, however, a dangerously paranoid Cole comes back into their lives, determined to reclaim his daughter, and violent confrontation becomes inevitable. Bausch takes a bit too long to explain the origins of Annie's rash behavior and her reticence in its aftermath, making it difficult initially to sympathize with her actions. James is the character to whom one warms; his sincerity and bewilderment are quite credible, as is his eventual recognition that his overprotective, smothering upbringing of Annie was largely responsible for her need to escape. The fluidity and economy of Bausch's prose and the acuity of his understanding of the wellsprings of human behavior are among the satisfactions of this novel. (May)
Library Journal
Mr. Field's daughter becomes Mr. Gilbertson's wife and thereby initiates a series of family tragedies. Lovingly reared by a widower father, Annie defies him by eloping. She eventually realizes that her husband is a criminal and drug addict and returns home with her own daughter. Gilbertson's efforts to avenge himself and reclaim his child lead to a violent but redemptive conclusion. Bausch emphasizes the tangled relationships of fathers and daughters, but his well-crafted story displays many other varieties of pain, e.g., the doubts of an aging man courting a much younger woman, the isolation of a schoolgirl rejected by her classmates. His narrative is emotionally powerful but always carefully controlled.-- Albert E. Wilhelm, Tennessee Technological Univ., Cookeville

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Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
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