A Bed by the Window

M. Scott Peck, Author
M. Scott Peck, Author Bantam Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-07003-3
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Setting his first novel in the Midwestern community of New Warsaw, psychologist Peck ( The Road Less Traveled ) focuses on inmates of the Willow Glen nursing home. This small but fascinating world is soon disrupted by the murder of its most famous and charismatic resident, spastic quadriplegic Stephen Solaris, who taps messages with his knuckles on a letter board and is the only non-elderly resident. Ex-New Yorker Lt. Petri, a fresh recruit to the local police force, plunges into an investigation, armed with a fistful of preconceptions about nursing homes and seniors, and is saved from making a false arrest by the fortunate interference of residents Marion Grochowski and Georgia Bates. Petri admits his mistake and broadens his search, finally seeking help from Dr. Kolnietz, Willow Glen therapist. Peck's interest in the metaphysical is well placed in the nursing home setting, where death is an expected visitor. Yet the author's examination of virtue is more searching than his consideration of evil, and some characters experience unconvincing changes of heart. But that should not deter the reader from enjoying a generally intelligent look at human growth. (Sept.)
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