Shattering Glass

Nancy-Gay Rotstein, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $22 (0p) ISBN 978-0-374-26223-5
Canadian author Rotstein's debut novel (after three books of poetry, including China: Shockwaves) vividly outlines the lives of three successful women who reminisce about what they have sacrificed--traditional family values for career and vice versa--to get what they want. Divorced Judy, 32, struggles to raise a son and pledges her house and savings to get a bank loan. She puts herself through law school and lands a job with a prestigious Washington law firm, after which she's hired as a corporate executive by a client. Her success, however, is overshadowed by her failure to stop her neglected son from turning into a juvenile delinquent. In contrast, wealthy Dede, the wife of a member of Canada's parliament, remains close to her sons but makes the tragic error of hiring a college student to be their male role model in the absence of her campaigning husband. Of all three women, Barbara, a battered housewife turned popular novelist, is the best-developed character, struggling to keep her family together while writing. The women eventually meet at an Italian spa. Despite the schematic structure (four parts, one devoted to each of the women and a final section in Italy), Rotstein's writing nicely transcends the commercial fiction genre, and she brings her three protagonists to life with sympathy. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/1996
Release date: 02/01/1996
Paperback - 373 pages - 978-0-7710-7589-6
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