The Six Granddaughters of Cecil Slaughter

Susan Hahn. Fifth Star (SPU, dist.), $22 (272p) ISBN 978-0-9846510-0-9
Hahn’s overstuffed debut novel concerns itself with the descendants of Hungarian émigré Cecil Slaughter, particularly Cecil’s eponymous granddaughters. But the title is misleading: one granddaughter, Celeste, died as an infant and barely figures in the family’s history; another, Ceci, is also long dead, though she narrates from beyond the grave. The living Slaughter cousins—the famous poet, Cecilia; the embittered playwright, Cecily; the proudly promiscuous Celine; and the shy Celie—must contend with the sorrows of their family legacy (Cecilia’s mother is a Holocaust survivor; Celine’s father is a lecher; the cousins’ grandmother, Idyth, suffered a nervous breakdown following her husband’s death) while negotiating the rivalries and disappointments of their relationships. When a brutal encounter leaves Cecilia damaged, past, present, and future collide with predictable results. Hahn, a poet, strives for insight—Ceci is fond of referencing the teachings of Lao Tzu—but the novel, interspersed with poems ostensibly written by Cecilia, mostly achieves an affected tone. Its piling of tragedy upon tragedy is overwhelming, and the preponderance of Slaughter granddaughters makes it difficult to care about any of them. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.