Tumbling

Kermit Moyer, Author University of Illinois Press $14.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-252-01525-0
In seven stories about the way children perceive the secret world of adults, Moyer makes a graceful debut that transcends most first collections. ``In the Castle'' is the story of a little girl who intuits her mother's illicit relationship with Uncle John. ``I know a secret,'' she says to her oblivious father; but her secret is not what the reader expects. The title story, written in the form of a letter home from a runaway teenage girl, contains a shocking scene of brother-sister incest, a theme that emerges again in ``Coming Unbalanced,'' about a brother and sister who live with her wheelchair-bound lover. In ``The Compass of the Heart,'' a boy lusts after his father's girlfriend, and in ``Life Jackets,'' a boy desires his mother's girlfriend. In both instances, a critical moment of realization occurs when the women are observed, unbeknownst, in intimate situations. ``Movements of the Hand'' concerns a confused college student who seeks his girlfriend's mother for solace. ``Ruth's Daughter'' is a teenager who turns to her mother for help with an abortion, and in this story it is the adult who becomes aware of the childa small black girl who bears witness to the backroom procedure. The writing throughout these tales is controlled and powerful, and distinguished by a rare poetic ability. (August)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1988
Release date: 06/01/1988
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