A FAMILY ROMANCE by Elizabeth Pollet


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A deceptively docile title for a first novel which introduces a writer who deals quite calmly with an intense, inbred domestic scene, and the hothouse world of cultivated repressions, inverted impulses and sometimes uncontrolled outbursts in which the Reynolds live. Carl Reynolds is a musician, out of love with his wife and in love with his oldest daughter Sally. Mrs. Reynolds is a querulous woman who nurses her nerves in bed; Marjorie, 17, repeats the pattern of incest in her feelings for her younger brother, Paul, who is about 7. This follows Marjorie through some months at college, during which she sleeps with a boy she doesn't like at all; Sally, when she realizes that she also loves her father, runs away to escape being Daddy's girl; and Paul, is accidentally killed on an outing with his mother. Troubled as much of this is, it generates very little emotion and in its exploitation of some combustible elements, derives little power therefrom.

Publisher: New Directions