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When a death brings Sarah Crawford Brighton to her former home, her family is forced to come to terms with her decision to leave her husband
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With five different narrators whose voices are indistinguishable from one another, and frequent lapses into heavyhanded metaphor and diction that sounds appropriate to a glossy ladies' magazine, this first novel needed further fine-tuning. Sarah Crawford Brighton has been married to Jack, a walking Consumer Guide and numbers nut, for 20 years. Now 40, Sarah is childless; several pregnancies ended in miscarriages, and future babies are precluded by Jack's vasectomy. So Sarah acquires a horse and soon runs off West with its peripatetic veterinarian, Michael, who she eventually learns was "looking to see" while Sarah "was looking to find." The women she leaves behind-sister Donna, mother Vivienne, aunt Kate-fight the risks that their own restlessness brings. Another point of view comes from Donna's professor husband, Andrew, who offers a psychological assessment of Sarah's behavior. When Sarah abruptly returns to her Carolina home for a family funeral, she learns that her mother once faced the same dilemma she now confronts-marriage to one man, pregnancy by another-and she knows from experience that the child will grow up "feeling something isn't right, but not knowing what." The puzzle of whether to remain with Jack or to join Michael brings Sarah to the novel's denouement. The concept behind this brief story is good, but its delivery lacks technique and polish.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
When Sarah turns 40, she walks away from her childless marriage to Jack. Then she returns to him, pregnant with Michael's child. Her sister Donna's husband, Andrew (a pedantic academic who hails from Boston), revels in analyzing the Crawford family's psyches. Newall conveys the innermost musings of all her characters as she jumps back and forth, allowing Donna and Sarah, Jack and Andrew, and Aunt Kate to each take turns narrating this warm and sympathetic tale of women's lives. Even though family secrets create burdens for unaware victims, Newall's South Carolina origins imbue her story with a comfortably genial ambience that is reflected in this subtly nuanced portrayal of southern small-town life. Alice Joyce
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Book Description Permanent Pr Pub Co, 1994. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1877946451