Sixth chronicle in Father Greeley’s evergreen The O’Malley Family in the Twentieth Century saga.
Chucky O’Malley (of the Crazy O’Malleys whom we’ve followed since WWII) and his transcendentally sexy wife Rosemarie (an ex-drunk), are now in their 50s as Reagan moves into the White House. But their golden years are tarnished by the death of Chucky’s father, which brings them rushing home from a visit to Moscow. Chucky’s older sister Jane, overweight and clueless, arrives at the funeral strongly perfumed, with maybe a drink taken, bedecked in about 20 pounds of gold jewelry and a thigh-baring navy-blue skirt. Womenfolk are enraged and blame Chucky for not tossing Jane out. After his gifted and quite moving eulogy for his father, Jane says, “I don’t have to sit through this shit”—and her kids are creepy too. Several deaths follow, with allergies draining Chucky’s golden years. Plus his old schoolmate Joe Raftery burdens him with the disappearance of wife Brigid and daughter Samantha, because Brigid appeared in Joe’s dreams and told him to see Chucky. With all this going on, Chucky still finds time to lecture Mr. Evil Empire about Russia’s forthcoming collapse when he photographs him in the Oval Office.
Rich pages of family humor keep this resurrection lite.