THE HEARTH AND THE STRANGENESS by N. Martin Kramer

THE HEARTH AND THE STRANGENESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Often as involuted as the title, and dealing with the inverted family relationships which exist between Summer Grange, his wife, Lisette, and their three children, -this proceeds back and forth through the years and at some length to record their unhappy progression. For Summer, a rather dull and often dispirited man, has inherited the instability he is to pass on to his children, while Lisette- with her rigid virtue- recognizes only the sin of sex. Corinne, their eldest, is her immediate victim, and abandoned- after a romance which leaves her pregnant-lives on to become a spinster teacher. For the younger pair, Gareth and Aliciane, there is too close bondage; Gareth marries-briefly- the common, sensual Elsie who is unfaithful; Aliciane, after a first sexual revelation and revulsion, finds happiness with a dancer- Jeradine. And when Gareth, cracking up, turns to her for help and is shocked by what she has become- he kills her.... Mr. Kramer's account is heavy, earnest, and regretful- qualities unlikely to attract an audience.

Publisher: Macmillan