Kirkus Reviews QR Code
A GLASS ROSE by Richard Bankowsky



Pub Date: Jan. 10th, 1957
Publisher: Random House

A book designed to titivate jaded palates, but this reader isn't that jaded and found it distasteful and confusing. The resemblance to the early Faulkner, of Sanctuary and its successors, is evident, though here is no American folk saga -- but the sordid and tragic story of a Polish family, the parents immigrants, the daughters, one by one, betraying the goals of the new America which was to have seen their parents' dreams fulfilled. Chiefly the story revolves around the youngest daughter, Stella, who as the story opens- and as it closes- has returned to the sorry little community for her father's funeral. What has happened is told by flashback narrative- the narrator now one or other member of the family- or a lover- or a friend or, in stream of consciousness, the character herself. Stella is a naive tragic figure, confused about the twisted ideas of sex she sees around her, virtually assaulted- or so she thinks- by the father she worships and who has formerly ignored her- and seeking to blur the pattern by insane promiscuity. That she emerges, pregnant to be sure, but with a man who wants her as his wife, is perhaps the most unreal part of the fantasy in which she lives. A weird and unpalatable piece of writing.