WHAT IT's ALL ABOUT by Norma Klein


Email this review


Once again, Norma Klein is first off the blocks, here with a novel about an adopted Vietnamese orphan. But even with the arrival of Suzu, who soon begins babbling in lovably fractured English, sister Bernadette is mostly preoccupied with observing the older generation--Mom's fights with Gabe, who just lost his job and doesn't want to be supported; her Dad, Fumio, who invites her to attend his second wedding to pink, very pregnant, Peggy; even Grandma who lets Bernadette in on the secret of her marriage to Sol, a retired lawyer who keeps busy weaving rugs. Whether she's entertaining Suzu, coping with an unexpected visit from the adoption agency, or comforting her overweight friend Zachary, Bernadette is admirably resourceful. But she isn't as accessible as Marilyn Sach's Dorrie (see below) whose grown-up vocabulary and family problems are less plausible on the surface; for example, both girls write books, but we never read Bernadette's neatly typed stories and the titles she picks--The Divorced Child's Cookbook, the Super Hero Name Your Baby Book--reveal little beyond a sophisticated sense of humor. A warm, sympathetic view of a healthy kid thriving in a maritally mobile family--even if Bernadette's self-possession is sometimes easier to envy than to identify with.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1975
Page count: 146pp
Publisher: Dial