IF YOU HAD A FAMILY by Barbara Wilson

IF YOU HAD A FAMILY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 From mystery writer Wilson (Trouble in Transylvania, 1993, etc.), a pretentiously lyrical story of healing and recovery--one that pushes all the usual buttons as a woman recollects the long- buried losses and traumas of childhood. In her 30s, Cory Winter, a successful CPA and amateur painter, with Rosemary, a new lover, at her side, should be on top of the world. She isn't. Living in Seattle, she feels alienated, happier alone, and unable to respond to the abundant affection Rosemary offers. Cory recalls her seemingly happy childhood in southern California in the 1950's, with Polly, her mother, who created a flower-filled garden and taught Cory how to draw; West, a dependable father; and a cute little brother, Kevin. But gardens have a long history of harboring with their perfection the agents of their destruction, and the Winters' garden is no different. Polly Winter was raised as a Christian Scientist by her strict midwestern mother, and though she escaped to California, she could not free herself from either her mother or her faith. Which means that when she finds a lump in her breast, she tries to heal it with prayer, undergoing surgery, at West's insistence, only when it's too late. Intimidated by her mother's presence, Polly also failed to notice her brother Steve's abusive behavior to Cory on visits to them. When Polly became ill and died, Cory's childhood and life as part of a close-knit family ended. Her father moved them to an apartment, withdrawing into himself, and as soon as she was old enough Cory left. Years later, therapy, confessions to her brother, and a visit rich in epiphany to England enable her finally to put her past behind her and move on, with Rosemary at her side. Wilson's self-absorbed protagonist with her tiresome, politically correct lover and blighted family irritates more than she engages. Not this author's best. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-878067-83-4
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Seal Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996




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