AN EMBARKATION by J.R. Salamanaca


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A family reunion type novel by the author of Lilith, suffused with the melancholy of Maryland Tidewater nights as Aaron (failed actor and commercial-maker) and Sylvie (Ph.D. to be) come home to comfort Mama and retarded baby brother when their father disappears off the coast in one of his specially designed sailboats. There is the constant tension between the unhappy present (Aaron wants to love every person in the world ten minutes? Sylvie can't love at all) and the more tortured but somehow brighter past where their vaguely heroic but obsessed and incredibly selfish father would stop at nothing (even burning down his own home for the insurance money, or refusing to pay the costs of the rehabilitation home where his son might have gotten better) to save his shipyard and search for the perfect sailing yacht. This is a sad, vaguely moving, sentimental novel full of bourbon-inspired memories of those so-called good old days.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1973
Publisher: Knopf