Daphne and Rex live lives of well-to-do elegance while Rex's brother Stanley scrimps for tobacco and Camp coffee. Rex's daughter has also become a victim; her cruel husband has turned her into an eccentric skivvy. If life is a bowl of cherries, there are always those left with the bruised remnants.
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In A Bowl of Cherries Shena Mackay tells the story of twin brothers whose lives are inexorably intertwined: Rex, a self-absorbed and successful writer, and Stanley, a minor poet who works as a dishwasher. Rex lives on the family estate being the older of the twins by one minute with his unhappy wife, Daphne, who writes children's books. Their overweight daughter, Daisy, lives nearby, and as a result of a guilty secret of her own, has married an overbearing, misogynist, and skinflint husband, Julian. Rex's illegitimate son, Seamus, 14, discovers Daisy quite by accident and their relationship blossoms despite the many flawed characters that surround them. He carries a family secret that proves to be devastating, but which ultimately releases his half-sister Daisy from her torments.From Publishers Weekly:
Fay Weldon fans and a host of other readers will cheer lauded British writer Mackay's U.S. debut with this brisk and perfectly targeted probe of the tangled lives of an English family. Handsome and self-absorbed Rex Beaumont, renowned since the publication of his first novel many years earlier, lives in his parents' mansion near Dorking with his wife Daphne; she writes children's books, and together they turn out a popular detective series. Their depressed and overweight daughter Daisy resides nearby with her beastly, hyper-controlling husband Julian and their young daughter. Rex's twin Stanley, a mostly forgotten minor poet disgraced for his refusal to serve in WW II who barely survives on dishwasher's wages, has a room not far from the seedy building where Rex's illegitimate son Seamus, 14, lives with his mother. With deft control and deadly wit, Mackay guides these characters and an equally well-drawn supporting cast through a hilarious and touching plot that brings redemption to the deserving and just deserts to the less so. Inventive, insightful and vigorously entertaining.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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