Glory Years

Joyce Carlow, Author
Joyce Carlow, Author Onyx Books $4.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-451-40191-5
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
The author of Succession shows herself to be a much better creator of good characters than wicked ones in this multi-generational saga about a Hungarian family in pre-WW II New York City. When limning the romances, disappointments and hopes of heroines Anna, Margaret and Renee, Carlow's prose is affecting and evocative. But when devising evil characters and their deeds, she stumbles over absurd stereotypes and unrealistic motivations. A viciously depraved cripple, a malevolent lesbian drug peddler, a conscience-less aristocrat do not seem to belong in the same book with the struggling expatriate Hungarian community of hardworking, honest people. The clanking plot devices that concoct the family's reunion in the sleazy world of Hollywood detaches even the effective characters from the environment that gives them depth. From there, it's all downhill to a sloppily sentimental ending. (May)