Email this review


A soap-simple tale, with linoleum-block characters, about the straggle for custody of an eight-year-old boy between his good-hearted, devoted father and his career-minded mother. Michael Strong, James' father, was the son of a British officer killed in Greece in WV II, and a lovely Greek mother, who died in the bombing of Liverpool. Michael was raised in foster homes, but in boyhood became obsessed with the land of his mother's birth and father's death, and finally made contact with Gertrude Mildmay, a writer and photographer living on a small Greek island in her ""House of the Dolphin."" It was Gertrude who introduced him to the glories of Greece--land of Poseidon, Zeus and other notables. As an adult, Michael married London journalist Hannah, who strained herself on assignment, so lost their first baby. Later, James was born, but Hannah--on the make, career-wise, had by then tired of Michael. There was a divorce, and she was awarded custody of James. Now, Michael loves James extravagantly, takes him to the zoo and draws him pictures (Michael's an artist); while callous Hannah gives away James' turtle. At one point, enraged Michael takes James off to Greece and Gertrude's island. Gertrude's ex-lover Andreas drops in to tell Michael about his heroic British dad, and about the archenemy still around--old Yannis. Also at home is Gertrude's daughter, lovely Clare. ""Afraid and excited"" seeing Clare and Michael in bed together, young James takes off on an exploring trip, is found by Yannis and it's touch and go. But then Hannah shows up, James is found in the nick; and, back in London, there's one more custody battle. Guess who wins. Elementary.

Pub Date: May 23rd, 1986
Publisher: Beaufort