LEANNA by Doris Schwerin

LEANNA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Quite obviously there's something dreadful in that faded blue car that young, handsome TV producer Tony Wisenberg sees from a window of the Long Island Railroad; but it's a slow freight of 450 pages of flashbacked familial drear before you'll know what Tony knows. Starting in 1928, Tony's father Grisha (who will be an internationally famous film director) and mother Leanna (who will be an internationally famous pianist) meet, marry, produce Tony, and lose Leanna's parents to the Holocaust while being driven from Russia. On to Paris, to London, and California, and freedom at last--until Grisha is blacklisted into postwar European exile. But it's not the times which drive the unhappy trio up theft several walls. Grisha and Leanna, it seems, simply do not mesh. Leanna, the ice goddess, denies Grisha her feelings and vulnerability, wrapped up in her grievous wounds, ""monumental Stonehenges in her psyche."" And Grisha cannot feed her soul when his is with the struggles of the people. And Tony is the perfect son--brilliant and making money to build mother a ""castle"" where she can strum on her silver chords. Yet Tony will, after Grisha's heart attack and death, suddenly shed his money, Mother's beloved mansion, and ship her to a nursing home for inevitable madness and death. Why? Think Oedipus, or better still, think nothing at all as the three internationally famous blanks (and some famous real-people extras) babble on. Enervating.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1978
Publisher: Morrow