HOME AGAIN, HOME AGAIN by Thomas Froncek


A Son's Memoir
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 Anger and resentment fuel this memoir by journalist Froncek (Take Away One, 1985)--his emotions directed toward his father, once stern and powerful, now disabled by Alzheimer's and multiple strokes. The book grows out of a visit during which Froncek realizes that he may never see his father, Walter, alive again. During the weekend he mulls over the past: Driven by an apparent restlessness beyond his son's understanding, Walter moved his family countless times both in and around Wisconsin, and even as far as Detroit and California. He seemed to be searching for the perfect home, though, as his son remembers it, they had the perfect home--one that Walter built by a small Wisconsin woods in 1949, when Thomas was six; the family lived there for three years. As Thomas reviews his life, he recalls the joy of playing cowboys and Indians in the woods, the perplexity of growing up Catholic, the rise of McCarthyism, the pain of constantly moving, and the desire to please a father who never encouraged or praised. Finally, with help from his mother, he succeeds in comprehending this driven being--the key lies in grasping the grandeur of ordinary dreams. His mother also reveals the money troubles and private agonies of those uprooted years. The constant moving left a lasting impression on Froncek: As a journalist, he happily took on far-away assignments until the stability of a wife and child settled him down to living in one place. Although Froncek's feelings run deep and his portrayal of a strong man laid low is affecting, his flat, unsophisticated writing slows down the narrative and detracts from its potential power. (8 pages photos, not seen)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1996
ISBN: 1-55970-332-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Arcade
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1996