FAMILIES AND SURVIVORS by Alice Adams

FAMILIES AND SURVIVORS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the '40's to the '70's, this is a mobile of contemporary American life at the whim of any draft under the sill. Primarily as seen through Louisa Callaway, Louisa who is ineradicably Southern and Gentile and pretty but altogether imprecise about who she is or where -- usually in transit from one attachment to another, particularly after her marriage -- so unsuitable -- to Michael Wasserman whose "false-sexy" smile is a denial of his wistful inability to perform. His mother, his Jewish mother. Then there's her friend Kate who seems much firmer and more assertive and seems to accept where she's at. Louisa is wretched with Michael, has colitis, a breakdown, a child before her patchy affairs and her divorce and finally a second marriage to another tentative character. Thus it goes -- families and survivors, husbands and lovers, sons and daughters in that newer love generation of "no names, no last names." Alice Adams has an open, impromptu way of catching the impermanence which is everywhere -- casual it would seem, more careful in actuality. A novel of considerable grace and attraction which vulnerably and often implacably reflects shiny surfaces, glass people.
Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 1974
ISBN: 044921995X
Page count: 196pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1974




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