THE OTHERS by Ann Aikman
Kirkus Star


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A polished first novel is concerned with the effects of the Other Way of Life on two contrasting families. Its scene is Summer on the Sound-side shores of Long Island. On the cliff above the beach, in an odd modern house, live the Alexanders:- Eugene, an architect, Esther, and their teen-aged son, Tony. Intellectuals, they have a highly structured life dedicated to Responsibility, to Eugene's career, to Ideas, and to Tony's development. Onto the beach below, come the Mooneys, interlopers in a houseboat, an untidy, happy-go-lucky, energetic family consisting of Frank, a businessman dreamer, Inoz, and their three daughters. Through teen-aged Roseanne, Tony and his friends, the two families become involved with each other, with results disturbing to both. Their opposing dreams and realities:- luck vs hard work, animal charm vs the charms of opinions, the instinctual vs the rational, these are obliquely played out through a number of disarming and sometimes funny beach scenes and dialogues. The bewildered misinterpretations between Inez and Esther, the two strongest characters in the cast, are particularly successful. But if the intellectuals are most sympathetic, they also tend to lose most. Their sandy cliff is eroded, literally and figuratively; they are undermined and altered, while the Mooneys, rehabilitated and almost unthinking, go on to the next dream, the future. This bare concept is beautifully furnished with wit, astute characterization, insights on many levels. In a diffused world it is a highly sane and personal view that makes- for the sophisticates- rewarding reading.

Pub Date: Feb. 29th, 1960
Publisher: Simon & Schuster