THE PERFECTIONISTS by Gail Godwin

THE PERFECTIONISTS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Miss Godwin has written a first novel which takes its place immediately alongside of the emancipated entertainments of say Penelope Mortimer. In other words, The Perfectionists can't go much further. During its course, it spends a holiday with John Empson, a psychologist of eclectic and still "evolving" notions; Dane, his relatively new wife, and Robin his illegitimate son who is a "species all by himself." He doesn't talk at all and sometimes he screams endlessly. Then Dane has what John would call "precipitations"--John says things which are unnatural (analyzing her "soul on the prowl") and does things which make her uncomfortable all the while applying none of his psychology to approaching Robin. The scene is Majorca and very subtly Miss Godwin manages to convey just how "exceptional" (viz. repugnant) John is and how "challenging" (viz. difficult) the marriage up to the drastic last scene. She has written a novel which is a considerable attractant--original in its situation, astute in its insight and quite impeccably styled.
Pub Date: May 20th, 1970
ISBN: 0345392698
Page count: 236pp
Publisher: Harper & Row
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1970




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