Wives and Mistresses

Suzanne Morris, Author Doubleday Books $18.95 (584p) ISBN 978-0-385-19099-2
Morris's (Galveston eyes are again on Texasthis time, to observe the rise of Houston and two of its founding families. Narrated by four women whose histories span the past 100 years, the novel offers a summary view of King Cotton deposed by oil barons and a more intimate one of cotton-headed maidens triumphing over a host of smarmy men. Alvereda's father keeps her at home just to reject her. Though she marries kindly Neal Gerrard, she must fight off the sexual advances of his business partner, David Leider. Leider has locked himself into a loveless marriage, an act which is to become a family tradition. His daughter Elzyna thinks her husband is trying to kill her, while her daughter, Senta, has one who almost succeeds. Only Robin manages to break the mold by marrying a Gerrard of the '60s who, unlike his relatives, is not into knives or poison. The characters here seem to speak with a single voice, shorn of local color, which uses such slang as ""swell'' or ``phony'' in both 1887 and 1960a voice whose lack of fiber eventually flattens the events it describes. (May 16)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-0-595-09374-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-120-6
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-1-5040-2906-3
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