FAMILY by Caroline Leavitt


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Family and belonging, home and all that it means, lie at the warm heart of this novel about love in the life of a man searching for what he lost in childhood. By the author of Meeting Rozzy Halfway (1981) and other novels centered on the need for love as a unifying force among kin and friends. When he was 11, Nick's parents--volatile, cheerfully loving and unconventional--were killed in an auto crash. Nick became a loner who learned to tell lies, left the Home for Boys at 18, moved to New York, put himself through a city college, then became a children's book salesman. One day Nick finds his ""first love,"" Dore, patting her way down a school corridor, because one of her students has stolen her glasses. Nick and Dore, adoring one another, will live together in the cacophonous but curiously ordered community of a trailer camp, and produce baby Susan. The baby's death is the death of the relationship, and Dore travels away from Nick's ""baffled, yearning face."" Nick will marry Leslie in his old home city of Pittsburgh. He loves Leslie as he loved--and still loves--Dore, but even after daughter Robin is born, he's travelling: ""when you chose to stand still. . .you were the one risking being left."" Eventually Dore and Leslie, Nick and Robin--four miserable people--will tangle destinies, and wounds will heal, beginning with that day when pregnant teen-age Robin shows up at Nick's home in Madison, Wisconsin, and Nick has stopped running. Although coincidence plays a heavy role, this is an appealing tale about companionable people, and there's that homebody's sense of place--when homes become castles.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1987
Publisher: Arbor House