FAMILY STYLE by David Eames


Email this review


In this season of subsidized fiction, one hesitates to nick the modest assets of Mr. Eames' first novel, or rather (self?) audit, or rather reckoning up--all as honest as the day is long while it gets longer. If only Eames had made it as interesting as it is no doubt bona fide. Family Style, or rather styles, deals with the diversified upbringing of Gordon Laird just after WW II. On the one hand there's his mother who divorces his drinking, whoring, gambling father and chooses to live in an undistinguished Massachusetts small town where they are surrounded by ""Polacks"" and the everbearing ""Canuck"" family next door. On the other, there are his many aunts and uncles, particularly the rich, imperious Aunt Fiona who summons him to the Plaza in New York at whim, outfits him at Pest's and DePinna's that were, and sends him to boarding school and college while giving him spending money--a thousand dollars at a clip. But the aunts and uncles die off; his mother goes off to New Mexico with her butch friend; his father disappears; and finally he's left--the heir to Aunt Fiona's dissipated wealth. Gordon is an affable and just too adjustable youngster (the only really dramatic moment survived without protest is when Aunt Fiona throws his dog out of the car) and you're left, as he is, with that small change of experience and the regret that niceness is such a circumscribed virtue.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1975
Publisher: Atheneum