A GOOD CONFESSION by Elizabeth Savage
Kirkus Star


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Elizabeth Savage -- who should be finding an increasingly available audience with each book -- writes about endings of one kind or another (Happy, 1971, or sad as in Last Night at the Ritz, 1973, or just accommodating, as here). Janice who has just left her husband, probably for good, to return home because her grandfather is dying, is as restless as any revenant -- full of ghosts, guilts and the knowledge that ""I haven't done anything right."" Only Big Jim -- larger than life and formerly twice as vital, who now lies in a hospital bed burned almost to death -- and his boozing son Jimmy are left of the household on Mahoney Street where she grew up in a generous, brawling, Irish-Catholic bustle of kinfolk and everpresent neighbors. In other words, with those traditional attachments of the blood and the Church. And also with Val, her first love, who never made it either as a priest or a husband. But since she left home, she's only had a childless, uncommunicative marriage to Spenser who'd quickly found another woman. Well, as Big Jim dies, she remembers all that was and regrets what's lost -- those old ways which affirmed where ""People used to belong."" An avowedly sentimental story but the right kind -- with almost seamless shifts of experience, then and now, not only to retain your attention but to direct it toward the empty spaces of contemporary existence. Surely sure in its appeal -- with or without handkechiefs.

Pub Date: April 23rd, 1975
Publisher: Little, Brown