TWILIGHT CHILD by Warren Adler


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A superficial problem novel by the veteran author of Random Hearts (1984), The War of the Roses (1981), etc. Here, grandparents' fights are under consideration, specifically the right to visit the child of a remarried daughter-in-law. Working-class Frances, devoted mother and docile daughter-in-law, is not long widowed before she meets and marries middle-class Peter. He puts her onto Mozart and Martinis, loves her ardently and adopts her young son, Tray. Left behind are Tray's natural paternal grandparents, whose love for him is intensified by the loss of his father, their only child. Stunned by Frances' decision to keep the boy from them, they eventually hire a lawyer to petition for visitation rights. Characters are cut to fit the case. New husband is upright and uptight in contrast to father-in-law Charlie, a combustible hard-hat. Charlie's schoolteacher wife, Molly, is temperance personified, bucking up her old guy and smoothing down the hackles he raises. Nice Frances claims to want only what's best for her son but harbors a hidden agenda of anxieties and resentments. There are no Villains until the lawyers take over and all parties find themselves in a dirtier battle than they'd intended. A larded case history, the book is at least twice as long as it needs to be (i.e., should be) with run-on dialogue, irrelevant flashbacks and every point hammered and rehammered in. The King Solomon ending is no surprise, but there are a few depths of human feeling among the shallows. The tolerant reader is touched in spite of the hokum.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1985
ISBN: 1931304602
Publisher: Macmillan