The theme of this pretentious affair is Everyman's psychologically directed ""target."" The setting is Taylor, Texas on the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination and the story centers on the three generations of the Ballister family. Gordon Ballister II, an ""ultra conservative right wing Republican who hated John Kennedy and all his works and said so repeatedly"" fancies himself pulling the trigger. His seventeen-year-old son Louie, a ""fledgling left-wing Democrat who idolized Kennedy"" blames his father for the President's death as well as the ""accidental"" shooting of a Negro friend and goes gunning for him. Gordon Ballister I dreams of lost goals and power as he listens to neighborhood comments: ""To make a President we had to shoot one,"" while five year old Gordie III, unaware of the nation's tragedy, blames his hated brother for the death of his cat. Then there's the teenage sister who sheds a few tears over Bambi at the novel's end. The center of this ""scratched together sort of family"" is Hannah, a new wife and stepmother who takes in the day's events--Kennedy's death, Louie's attempt at patricide, his father's subsequent attempt at suicide and a final family brawl- (Gordie III gets into the act) with alternating grief and philosophical stoicism. The ""day that wasn't a day"" passes and we regret that it has been turned into such flabby melodrama.