A SONG FOR THE ASKING by Steve Gannon

A SONG FOR THE ASKING

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A Los Angeles police detective brings his tough-guy attitude home--with tragic results--in an overly dramatic debut novel by Idaho writer Gannon. Daniel Kane's career as an L.A. cop has taught him to run a tight ship at home--lining up his four kids and barking out the orders for the day before taking off for work each morning, then meting out punishment when those chores aren't done. As a result, the Kane kids, ranging from 18-year-old Tommy to Nate, the youngest at nine, look forward eagerly to growing old enough to leave home--despite the fact that home is an idyllic beachfront Santa Monica Bay bungalow that their cellist mother, Catheryn, inherited from her mother. This particular summer, Tommy's last before entering the University of Arizona on a football scholarship, Kane has arranged for a construction job for his two older boys and has ordered Catheryn to forgo an offer to play with the Philharmonic in order to keep an eye on the younger two. Second son Travis, a prodigy on the piano, and only daughter Allison, a budding writer, chafe the most against the insensitivity and discipline of a father who considers their artistic temperaments ""sissy""--and they're predictably the ones who suffer the most as all four Kane kids' acts of rebellion lead them closer and closer to danger. Still, even as tragedy looms, it's hard to condemn this father completely, whose strict example has instilled self-discipline and strength in his children--even when only three survive to profit by it. A somber modern melodrama whose well-drawn, convincing characters are occasionally sabotaged by a TV-movie tendency toward easy moralizing.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1997
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Bantam