Author: Paula Fox
Reviewer: Sharon Quiroz
Genre: Literary Fiction
Reviewers keep calling it “Chekhovian.” It is a family novel, but what a family! They have gathered for a bon voyage party: Laura and Desmond are off to Europe, and she has invited her daughter, Clara, and Carlos, Laura’s brother, and Peter, a family friend, to dinner. Most of the story takes place in their hotel room before they go to the restaurant for dinner. And there, Fox brilliantly develops the characters in her riveting, terrifying, style. For any writer a look at how Fox develops characters is a must. There’s a great deal of not saying and not listening in this story: Laura knows that her mother, “the widow” has died that morning. Apparently, just because she is jealous of the relationship between her daughter and the widow, who raised the child, Laura withholds the information that the widow died this morning. But it seems to account at least in part for her more than usually outrageous behavior. This is a fascinating study of a family, and an even more fascinating example of Fox’s beautiful writing. SQ
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