Opal on Dry Ground

Opal on Dry Ground

by Sandra Jean Scofield
     
 

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"RICH, COMPLEX, AND COMPELLING (Ms. Scofield explores the twists and turns all the daughters must survive as they struggle toward independence."
—Dallas Morning News
Opal has done the best she knew how in raising her two daughters, Clancy and Joy. But that doesn't stop her from worrying about them even when they are finally under her roof again.

Overview

"RICH, COMPLEX, AND COMPELLING (Ms. Scofield explores the twists and turns all the daughters must survive as they struggle toward independence."
—Dallas Morning News
Opal has done the best she knew how in raising her two daughters, Clancy and Joy. But that doesn't stop her from worrying about them even when they are finally under her roof again. Clancy has just been left by her second husband and is so depressed she can barely stay awake. Joy, brittle in her loneliness and desperate about her teenage daughter, can't decide where her loyalty lies—with her mother, her daughter, or herself. And Opal is still mourning the sudden death of her aged mother, killed in a flood.
Opal has always bailed out the women in her family when despair rains down. But as troubled waters recede, she must learn to let go and live....
"A novel whose plot, like a vast open sky, is enlivened with a fireworks display of colorful, twisting, brilliantly rendered emotions."
—The New York Times Book Review
"Sandra Scofield writes with authority, and her characters are warmhearted, well-intentioned, likable, more sinned against than sinning—ordinary, hard-working folks trying to make it through the day."
—New York Newsday

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Once again probing the problems of women in fractured families, Scofield offers in her fifth novel (after More Than Allies ) a compromised version of the depth and compassion she showed in her earlier books. The center of this three-generation saga is Opal Duffy, a twice-married, 50-something woman struggling to juggle the demands of her new husband, her past and her two divorced, erratic daughters, with whom she shares a house and a trailer. One daughter, Clancy, gets pregnant by her lover but remains ambivalent about the prospect of yet another husband. Meanwhile, her sister, Joy, fights constantly with her ex-husband, her new boyfriend and her own daughter, a bored, rebellious teenager. Alternating character analysis with scenes from domestic and professional life, Scofield constructs her usual rich tapestry of family interaction, showing how both heartbreak and bad patterns are endlessly repeated. But the story itself is a bit static, and the long family roster occasionally warrants a scorecard, detracting from both character development and emotional impact. Moreover, the lack of well-developed male characters creates an imbalance that becomes increasingly evident as the plot grinds on. While Scofield presents several memorable characters here, this is territory she's explored more effectively in the past, most notably in 1991 in the American Book Award-winning Beyond Deserving . (June)
Library Journal
This powerful novel reveals Scofield's true talent for portraying the passions of ordinary people in their day-to-day lives. Opal, a 57-year-old divorcee, embodies women today who take care of their daughters, their daughters' children, and at times a new husband. Scofield skillfully illuminates the bond that is always intact between a mother and her children, no matter what the children's age. As her daughters flee horrible marriages, Opal deals with her new marriage to Russell, the loss of her own mother, and a household that has seen several crises. Scofield, who finds humor and sadness in the predicament of a woman trying to keep afloat on ``dry ground,'' here continues the tradition of excellence begun with Beyond Deserving (Permanent Pr., 1991), an American Book Award nominee. For most collections.-- Vicki Cecil, Johnson Cty. Lib., Greenwood, Ind.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804113601
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/01/1995
Edition description:
Reprint

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