The continued adventures of Willie and Penny Winston, brother and sister, taking them up where Razzmatazz (1981) put them...

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THE BEST IS YET TO BE

The continued adventures of Willie and Penny Winston, brother and sister, taking them up where Razzmatazz (1981) put them down--in Connecticut in the late Thirties, living with spinster Aunt Addle. But now, thanks to the deus ex machina of a hurricane, lost relatives, and old truths blown free of cover, Willie and Penny learn that they're not brother and sister after all, but cousins (if that) instead! So a whole new dimension is added to their closeness by this discovery--especially since Penny, normally rambunctious and iconoclastic, is being turned toward the energetic mysteries of sex by post-puberty. Her start is slow at first (""When I do what comes naturally, men avoid me as if I've been dipped in sour cream""), but it soon accelerates--if only in fantasy--to include the conquest of various high school boys and even the local minister. Willie, meanwhile, ever the more plodding of the two, grows up, goes into the Army, and then to Europe--a consciousness of which he has had ever since passionate Penny became involved with a local German-Jewish ÉmigrÉ (who owns a dress store and keeps baleful tabs on the progress of the Holocaust). It's in Germany, then, at the novel's postwar conclusion, that Willie's reunited with Penny--as the myth of family relation between the two shreds completely. . . and free attraction finally ensues. Wheaton's style here, even with more serious material than the Razzmatazz frolic, remains loping and equable, cutting corners off the adult complexities of Willie and Penny, making them slightly trivial. Still, Penny is again a vivacious character (if often sad, less gamin-like and buoyant), and this is enjoyable, low-stress storytelling--a suave cut or two above mere fluff.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1983

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dodd, Mead

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1983