AN HONORABLE ESTATE by Lane Kauffmann

AN HONORABLE ESTATE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A knowledgeable, expansive entertainment fills in and fills out the lives of some twenty family members of the wedding to be, from the time when the engagement of ckie Fortescue to Roger Hilliard is announced, to the marriage some three months ater. And although this is ostensibly a woman's book, it deals a little more generously with three men: with Charles Fortescue, who, although he had looked for and sound a ""domestic citadel"" in Vickie's mother-Ruth, still had for some years shared other aspects of his life with another woman; with Roger's father, Owen Hilliard, a laywright (adaptations rather than originals) and amorist now tiring of younger and more taxing women; and the stepfather, Professor Stephen Booth, an anthropologist who had given up serious science to write best sellers and book club selections. Then there are many others around; Amelia Booth, who skimps personal relations for public spirited causes; Ruth Fortescue now discovering that the ""jog trot of familiar affection"" may not be enough; cousins and aunts, a Jewish patriarch, a formidable owager, a homosexual, etc. etc. Still, beyond the applique of details, the story itself gains momentum through the revelation of a tragedy in the past which is now duplicated under different circumstances (a suicide) and which substantiates the dramatic interest beyond the accessories of the social scene.... A good, popular book, out a contradiction in terms but an indication of its potential- it is adroit and attractive.

Publisher: Lippincott