ALL SOULS: A Family Album by Frances Oliver

ALL SOULS: A Family Album

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A wade through the mind-streams of a troubled clan, most troubled of all being Leonora Mond Popov--daughter to two Viennese shrinks (one Jewish, the other Almanach de Gotha) and ex-wife of a White Russian count. With such a background, no wonder Lenni is fat, cynical, and alcoholic. Her mother leaves her the family white elephant, an Austrian chateau filled with Biedermeir furniture, woodworm, and not-too-fascinating family papers--sad tales of poor little 18th-century rich girls. Once Lenni moves in, things wax portentous, her one fling (with a Herr Zeitgeist yet) leaving her tipped off and knocked up. Occasionally she does come out of her boozy haze--to visit a concentration camp memorial, bump off a Nazi villain, and plant some fruit trees--but a botched abortion and cirrhosis of the liver lead inevitably to the ancestral plot. Even the weighty references to two centuries of European traumas (from girls unwed for lack of dowries to the Holocaust) can't make this more than a grab-bag of chichi conventions and themes.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1977
Publisher: St. Martin's