Easy Peasy

Lesley Glaister, Author Wyatt Book $20.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-16822-3
On the day that Griselda spends bracing herself to be dumped by her female lover, Foxy, Griselda's father hangs himself. So begins the poignant, absorbing seventh novel from England's Glaister (whose Honour Thy Father won the Somerset Maugham Award). Griselda's grief and rage over this final rejection--the last step in her father's lifelong flight from his family--forces her to explore painful childhood memories: even as a woman in her 20s, she can't forget being awakened by his tortured nightmares of life as a POW in Japan, nightmares he would never describe. Nor can she forget his strange closeness to Wanda, the woman next door, and Wanda's lonely, funny-looking son whom the other children called ""Puddleduck."" Haunted by childhood jealousy and resentment (and by guilt for a cruel act of revenge she took against Puddleduck), Griselda must face him and Wanda and the indelible mark they have left on her life. From the simple joys and fears of childhood to the alternating warmth and insecurity of Griselda's relationship with Foxy, this superbly detailed novel pieces together the life of its unlikely heroine and does so with grace, humor and a deft stream-of-consciousness plot that cherishes ordinary things on its way to epiphanies. Griselda eventually discovers the terrible secret that her father had hidden for so many years, and her perception of him is irrevocably altered. As this satisfying ending proves, Glaister understands that forgiveness is something to be earned by her characters, not merely bestowed on them by their author. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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