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The Congressman's Daughter

The Congressman's Daughter

by Craig Nova

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Harlow Pearson, twice U.S. Representative from Vermont, is a fly fisherman, a gambler, a womanizer and a father. Since his love for daughter Alexandra never exceeds his overwhelming need for control, it's not entirely surprising that her pregnancy at age 19 should result in parental strictures that still obtain two decades after Harlow's death. Alexandra's story is related by her father confessor, a friend who lives down the road a piece. Maneuvered into marriage by the terms of her father's will, Alexandra struggles to keep her spirit intact while her husband, Bryce, hand-picked by Harlow, looks for ways to twist her arm ``a little, just to keep her in line.'' To do so, Bryce even threatens to turn his smalevolence toward the child. Eventually, his wife takes sanctuary from his bluster and lies by rekindling an old love affair. A dry, credible bitterness pervades this latest novel by the author of The Good Son. Its hesitant tone and emotional distance are the calculated result of having the story told by an observer, a device that works only up to a point. (April 18)
Library Journal
Nova's fifth novel explores the father-daughter relationship of Alexandra Pearson and retired Congressman Harlow Pearson. Harlow dies soon after Alexandra returns home pregnant and unwed. His posthumous influence is exerted through two codicils in his will that require Alexandra to catch the old trout in the West River, and to live a moral life. She manages to meet the requirements, but her marriage to her father's former aide is a sham. A freak accident frees her after years of unhappiness. The plot is rather predictable, though the prose is often poetic. Nova uses some of the same devicesseemingly irrelevant chapters interspersed throughout the book and sentences of 50 words or morethat he used in The Good Son ( LJ 8/82). Larger fiction collections may want to consider. Mary Reimer, Harris Psychiatric Hospital Lib., Anderson, S.C.

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Random House Publishing Group
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