Then Again

Sue McCauley, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $22.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-340-40101-9
In this ingratiating successor to Other Halves, three families, alike only in vivacity and need, crowd onto a ferry bound for the island of Motuwairua, off the coast of Auckland. The reader's heart is instantly captured by Maureen, whose passionate regard for her children exacerbates her doubts about herself, and by Josie""fair, fat and 46''and Geoff, unencumbered by Josie's offspring for the first time in their seven years together. Keith, a lapsed journalist haunted by dreams of madness and death, stands in woeful contrast to the others, with whomquickened now by prospects of renewal on this ``island of the spirit''his fate will become entwined. Before their paths cross, Maureen, estranged from her shiftless husband, shores up the sagging cottage the dole allows her, Josie and Geoff acquire a couple of lambs and four Shetland ponies, and Keith settles in with a lesbian feminist squatting in the house lent him by a colleague. But underlying and enriching these physical details are the exuberance, the eager, argumentative talk, the warm roundness of people who involve the reader in their mundane tasks, while lucidly discussing issues of parenting, lesbian politics and nuclear disaster. By no means a polemic, this sustained narrative is alternately tragic and uproariously funny, and always engrossing. (April)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
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