A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starre"/>
 

EAST SIDE STORY

Louis Auchincloss, Author
Louis Auchincloss, Author . Houghton Mifflin $24 (227p) ISBN 978-0-618-45244-6
Show other formats
FORMATS

A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review.

EAST SIDE STORY Louis Auchincloss . Houghton Mifflin , $24 (240p) ISBN 0-618-45244-3

Venerated author Auchincloss serves up solid tales but few surprises in his 60th novel of upper-crust New York life. When retired nurse Loulou Carnochan begins to compile the history of the Carnochan clan in the 1960s, she admits that she is "planning a species of novel with what was at best a collection of short stories," and indeed, the book has the feeling of a collection of family anecdotes. Scottish thread merchant David emigrated to the United States in the 1830s; Eliza, the wife of David's eldest son, secretly loves David's youngest, a Civil War hero; Bruce, a son of Eliza's, chooses security over romance in marriage; Gordon and David, two cousins of the succeeding generation, play out a dynamic of power and idealism that will be repeated in their sons' generation. Occasionally, every Carnochan seems to be hiding either a thwarted romanticism or an amoral cynicism under a layer of respectable Christian business sense. However, the author knows a thousand variations on his theme of social hypocrisy, and he's at his best when he allows his characters to complicate their two-dimensional roles; it is these moments that justify his reputation as a pre-eminent chronicler of American life. Agent, Mitchell Waters at Curtis Brown. BOMC alternate. (Dec. 2)

Forecast: Reviews and retrospectives are likely to make much of Auchincloss's landmark 60th novel, which should fuel sales of this and backlist titles.

The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X