Thanksgiving Night

Richard Bausch, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (403p) ISBN 978-0-06-009443-0

A house in Point Royal, Va., serves to entangle two families in clannish chaos. When local handyman Oliver Ward is summoned for a job at the house of Holly Grey and her aunt Fiona, he has no idea what to make of the two squabbling, headstrong old ladies who want to divide—literally—their house in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The two are known as "the Crazies" by Holly's son, bookstore owner Will Butterfield, and his wife, high school teacher Elizabeth, who are growing weary of their antics. But they pay Oliver, who begins working at the ladies' house. Oliver's daughter, policewoman and single mother Alison, is later called in to help talk Holly off the roof during a drunken dispute. Meanwhile, Will's grown children, Mark and Gail, from his first marriage (to another Elizabeth, who abandoned the family) are in disagreement over whether they should hunt down their long-gone mother. There are digressions: Gail's sexual identity is an open question; Elizabeth's students are fractious; Will finds himself tempted by a sexy, none-too-stable bartender. When Oliver has a stroke on the job, the two families are thrown together at Holly and Fiona's as the Thanksgiving holiday draws nigh. Author of nine novels and five story collections, Bausch (Wives & Lovers ) engages stock characters and a predictable theme of holiday forgiveness this time out, but he injects some crackle into the heartwarming elements. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-06-175810-2
Paperback - 403 pages - 978-0-06-009444-7
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