The Godchild

Stephen Alter, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $19.95 (161p) ISBN 978-0-233-97963-2
Alter, the son and grandson of American missionaries, approaches India from a unique perspective, and his ambivalence about his adopted country is evident in this brooding third novel ( Neglected Lives ; Silk and Steel ). Adopted as an infant by wealthy American parents, Tricia Crawford returns to Pipra, India, to find her roots. Dr. Fry, the elderly head of the local mission hospital who took in Tricia when her mother, a tribal woman, abandoned her, is supportive but not very helpful. Gautam, a fiery young Indian social worker who has rejected his parents' evangelist teachings, acts as Tricia's guide, eventually leading her to her mother. Both Tricia--and the reader--discover that her origins are far more shocking than could be guessed. Alter's unsentimental portrait of rural India, coupled wth the passon of his tale, make this a vivid, unusual effort. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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