Slow Poison

Overview

Rory Cade is summoned home from her book tour in New York by the housekeeper's cryptic message: Miss Cade passing. On the turbulent flight back to south Louisiana, Rory finds herself relating her family's past and its particular, poisonous brew of money, passion, infidelity, alcohol, religion, and Irish insanity. The Cades of Covington -- a dashing, drunken father; a mother and stepmother both dead at an early age; three young daughters raised in genteel chaos; a live-in grandmother and fiery maiden aunt. This ...

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Overview

Rory Cade is summoned home from her book tour in New York by the housekeeper's cryptic message: Miss Cade passing. On the turbulent flight back to south Louisiana, Rory finds herself relating her family's past and its particular, poisonous brew of money, passion, infidelity, alcohol, religion, and Irish insanity. The Cades of Covington -- a dashing, drunken father; a mother and stepmother both dead at an early age; three young daughters raised in genteel chaos; a live-in grandmother and fiery maiden aunt. This broken, brave ménage and their attendant circle of friends, lovers, and servants are realized with amazing penetration and deftness in a stirring, stinging survey of the cruel, humorous, unpredictable human heart.

LSU Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``To a Southerner, sweet and sad mean the same thing,'' writes Bosworth ( Almost Innocent ), an observation that aptly fits her jilted protagonist, Rory Cade, in love with a man who marries first one of her sisters and then the other, in this family saga rife with alcoholism, insanity, cancer, adultery and traumas related to the war in Vietnam. Set in and around New Orleans, mostly from 1958 to the late '60s, this bittersweet, episodic novel pierces Southern manners and mores with fierce tenderness. Rory's heartthrob, freelance journalist and war correspondent Johnny Killelea, courts ``violence in the name of honor: the Irishman's and the Southerner's constant passion.'' He ricochets from a marriage of convenience to a ``marriage of comfort,'' escaping love. Among Bosworth's memorable characters are Rory's stepmother, reckless belle Aimee Desiree; and Rory's father, Eamon, a charming alcoholic ophthalmologist who sometimes drinks on the job. His plight symbolically echoes Rory's tangled emotions as she sorts through jealousy, pity, rage and affection to see her family and herself with clarity. BOMC alternate. (Mar.)
Library Journal
What could be worse than insanity in the family? That question has been the lifelong plague of Rory Cade. But when the family is alcoholic, Irish Catholic, and living just outside New Orleans, how do you recognize insanity when it creeps in? As the book opens, Rory and her once-lover, twice-brother-in-law Johnny Killelea meet up in New York and prepare to return to Louisiana for yet another Cade family crisis. During the rough flight home, they reminisce about the troubled past. The saga of the extended Cade family and household help is told against the backdrop of Vietnam, the King and Kennedy assassinations, and the changing times of the Sixties. Good reading from the author of Almost Innocent ( LJ 11/1/84).-- Debbie Bogen schutz, Cincinnati Technical Coll.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807122785
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Series: Voices of the South Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheila Bosworth published her first novel, Almost Innocent, to wide acclaim in 1984. Born, raised, and educated in New Orleans, she now lives in Covington, Louisiana.

LSU Press

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