HOMECOMING by Barbara Bickmore


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 Another intergenerational romance from Bickmore (The Moon Below, 1990, etc.) demonstrating that today's daughters who get it all must thank a generation of mothers who made painful choices to expand women's roles. It's the year South Pacific opened on Broadway. Sydney Hamilton glimpses struggling actor Jordan Eliot across a crowded Manhattan room--she's never seen anyone so handsome before--and Jordan watches Sydney, down from Wellesley, as she shimmies atop a piano, and thinks she's the classiest girl in the world. And why not? She's from one of America's founding families: the well-heeled Hamiltons of Maryland, who have owned the Chesapeake island of Oberon since the 17th century. Against her father's wishes, Sydney marries Jordan--a marriage that produces little Ashley and Juliet. Jordan becomes a major movie star, but Sydney is bored in Hollywood, where she lives only vicariously through her husband. Then, after a disastrous sojourn on a movie set in the Congo, Sydney takes the girls back east to Oberon (Bickmore's version of Tara) and to her family: withholding father, publisher of the highly conservative New York Chronicle; loving mother and grandmother who want more for Sydney; bon vivant Uncle Billy, who knows where a rich girl can get a safe abortion; and Sydney's brother Evan, for whom a legion of bimbos can never fill his sister's shoes. Sydney becomes a successful newspaper publisher, and, as a proponent of a woman's right to choose, she reverses the Chronicle's politics. Meanwhile, Ashley, the good daughter, becomes a veterinarian, as Juliet, angry and troubled, almost kills herself with liquor and drugs. When Evan tries to sell Oberon to developers, Jordan and Sydney, now in their 50s, join forces to keep their Middle Atlantic Bali Hai safe for future generations of Hamiltons and migrating birds. Fresh and inventive romance does battle against a sometimes overbearing political agenda: Jordan and Sydney get back together after Jordan admits that his consciousness has been ``awakened.'' Frankly, everybody, he does give a damn.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8217-4923-4
Page count: 496pp
Publisher: Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1995