Who said anything about Danielle Steel? Father Greeley (Irish Lace, 1996, etc.) seems to have discovered Proust, if this...

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SUMMER AT THE LAKE

Who said anything about Danielle Steel? Father Greeley (Irish Lace, 1996, etc.) seems to have discovered Proust, if this elliptical--and endless--reminiscence of ancient pleasures and regrets is to be taken as a sign. Patrick Keenan, recently made a monsignor, grew up among the ""country club"" Irish of suburban Chicago and entered a seminary in the 1940s. There, his best friend was Leo Kelly, quieter and less self-assured than Patrick, and a sharer of Patrick's infatuation with Jane Devlin, a fiery redhead from the wrong side of the tracks. The Devlins had made a shady fortune and couldn't quite fit in with the ""Old Houses"" set at the lake resort where the Keenans hung out, but Jane's stunning good looks and--this being Greeley, after all--magnificent jugs help persuade even the most ardent snobs to overlook her shanty origins. Leo is still smitten with Jane when he drops out of the seminary, but whatever hopes he holds out vanish when two friends are killed in an automobile accident and Leo is falsely accused of driving the car. Although everything blows over, Leo feels the need to get away, so he joins the Marines and is sent to Korea, where he's captured and mistakenly reported killed in action. Jane, heartbroken, marries a drunken lout; Leo, depressed, survives prison, starts a new life as a political scientist, and marries a neurotic graduate student. Thirty unhappy years later, Leo, appointed provost of the University of Chicago, returns to the lake to sort out his life. Monsignor Keenan is able to prod him along the way, of course, to the happy ending we'd had all figured out by page eight. Too long and rambling to be a page-turner, although it has the usual Greeley graces (simple characters, even simpler ideas) in a plot that's not nearly as complex as it wants to be. For true believers only.

Pub Date: June 16, 1997

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Forge/Tor

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1997