Prodigal Father

Saunders, Author Random House (UK) $0 (0p) ISBN 978-0-224-02361-0
Saunders is a British actress who graces her first novel with crisp dialogue and a fine balance of pathos and comedy. Hilda, 18, and her younger sisters, Bella and Gipsy, are living a dreary existence on the Isle of Wight in the early 1900s. Relieved when their carping mother dies, the girls as well as their companion, Miss Goddard, hope their father will return now that his wife can no longer torment him. When he does, however, he ignores or criticizes his daughters, lavishing love on a visitor he introduces as his cousin, Conrad Veitch. Conrad is a beautiful youth; he attracts Miss Goddard and the girls although they resent him as a self-proclaimed saint, bent on saving humans from damnation. When Hilda coaxes a kiss from the fanatic youth, she creates a situation that races to a deliciously fearful and funny climax that reveals Conrad's secret past and a surprising glimpse into the future of all concerned. Adroitly skirting quaintness, the author tells a good story about a ""different'' family. (November 12)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
Discover what to read next