FAMILY FEELING by Helen Yglesias
Kirkus Star


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In some ways Helen Yglesias, although a less awkward writer, will remind you of the early Doffs Lessing transplanted to this country and to the modern times she represents so articulately; there is, to begin with, some politicization as well as that far more considerable emotional encroachment devolving from her central character, here Anne that was Hannahle-Hannah-Anna Goddard. hi insets, all flux, this goes backward and forward through the years, when the Goddards (from Poland, via London, to the Bronx and Miami) grew up in relative accord--seven children under a proverbial Jewish mother ""who could cut a herring into enough parts to feed a large family, but it was herself she pieced for our hungers."" They all come together at her death, and later Papa's, in the foreknowledge that ""we're all finished as a family. We'll meet at funerals."" But mostly the story focuses on Anne, the youngest, the liberal-intellectual, the divorcee, the later wife of a goy who will be mugged and killed in Central Park; and Barry, worthy of his given name--Baruch--who will become the corporate businessman controlling the others' destinies (not Anne's), Barry with his ""lizard blink"" and heartburn, Barry with his acquisitiveness which leaves him only his Leger and the terminal insight that ""The more I do for them, the less they like me."" But then he had no ""family feeling."" This hasn't quite the enclosed, inescapable power of How She Died blat Helen Yglesias is a natural writer with a felt authenticity, ubiquitous vitality, and a sympathetic warmth one reciprocates, willingly.

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 1975
Publisher: Dial