PORTRAIT OF ALICE by Evelyn Cowan

PORTRAIT OF ALICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Alice B. Gazoont's Jewish/Scots family, living in a suburb of Glasgow, is a social peg below the bowler-and-umbrella clan of Chaim Bermant's novels. As flaky housewife Alice tells it, one could not call the Gazoonts tightly laced: husband Abe owns a music store, and although eldest son Mack is a doctor, daughter Nemmy sleeps around--and Davey doesn't seem too thrilled about going to college. Alice has just returned from a long stay at a mental hospital, and there's a family dinner with a phone call from Mack. Then--one learns that Mack has in fact been dead for a year, killed in Israel. Is Alice's life, dubbed by herself as ""a great big message movie"" titled Alice, just a series of fun-house illusions? Some of it obviously is. But, alas, Alice's further adventures are all too real Abe has a fling, Nemmy marries a distinguished-looking man twice her age (there'll be no grandchildren because she's had a botched abortion), and Davey is caught in the buff with a male partner. A miracle beckons when Alice discovers she has a grandchild in Israel, but there are doubts. . . are the Gazoonts being taken? Along the way Alice swallows her pills, tries to pull herself together with travel and good works, and almost commits suicide. You think you got troubles? They'll seem like silver linings compared to this crazy lady's lament.

Pub Date: Feb. 23rd, 1978
Publisher: Taplinger