Paul Buttenwieser Their Pride and Joy

ISBN 13: 9780385295673

Their Pride and Joy

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9780385295673: Their Pride and Joy
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When their daughter comes home to recuperate after mysteriously fainting at school, a series of events threaten Peggy and Alan Gutheims' faith in mankind

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From Publishers Weekly:

Writing with an insider's knowledge of the rarefied world he describes, psychiatrist and novelist Buttenwieser (Free Association delineates the family, social and business habits of the contemporary Our Crowd, the descendents of the wealthy German-Jewish families who left their mark on New York as leaders of industry and patrons of the arts. The high-minded Gutheims practice noblesse oblige in a relentless way. Lawyer Alan Gutheim spends enormous amounts of time on civic committees; his wife Peggy is an obsessive volunteer; they are raising their three children with the same sense of selfless devotion. Their daughter Joan, sent home from Bennington because of a mysterious illness, is indeed wasting away with anorexia, but ostentatiously self-effacing Peggy, who is so busy "contributing" and professing that she lets her children run their own lives (though in reality she uses "camouflaged coercion") ignores the obvious signs of Joan's sickness as she does any frailty or blemish on her uncompromising conception of duty. This hermetically sealed social circle is briefly rocked by a real estate scandal in which Peggy's Wall Street broker brother is involved. But the narrative's considerable impact lies in Buttenwieser's delineation of Joan's breakdown under the blindfolded eyes of her loving family, who focus on helping everyone but the neediest among them. Buttenwieser's ironic, sometimes acidulous tone is exactly right in this enormously absorbing novel. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

At the beginning of the 1960s the wealthy and powerful Gutheim family seems to have it all. This insightful novel peers beneath the tranquil surface to reveal the turbulence that threatens each member. Joan's dissatisfaction with the idea of marriage to a suitable but boring young man and a life of good works is paralleled by her father's bitter disappointment at being denied the crowning achievement of his careerthe presidency of the New York Bar Associationbecause his colleagues are not yet willingto accept a Jew in that post. His wife's unshakeable control enables her to take charge, but she can neither give nor receive comfort as tragedy strikes. The ways in which people hurt each other despite the best intentions are compassionately depicted in this tender and revealing novel. Marcia R. Hoffman, M.L.S., Hoechst Celanese Corp., Somerville,
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Paul Buttenwieser
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