This beautifully observed story centers around Charles Connally, a Virginia college student in his mid-20s who is ambivalent about wife Carol's unexpected pregnancy. The coolness of his response troubles both of them on a Christmastime drive to visit his mother in Chicago where, in an all-night convenience store, Connally is present during a robbery that turns into a killing. Hailed as a hero for saving a woman's life, Connally, who knows his action was inadvertent, becomes increasingly anxious and withdrawn. Back in Virginia, as Carol's pregnancy develops complications, the prospect of fatherhood perturbs him more and more. He becomes obsessed with his experience in Chicago and with hidden events in his past, particularly those involving his father, whom his mother left when Connally was very young. Connally finally returns to Chicago for a series of confrontations. Examining the aftereffects--and origins--of violence in Connally's life, novelist and short story writer Bausch ( Mr. Field's Daughter ; The Fireman's Wife and Other Stories ) remains true to his emotionally repressed characters throughout. But while avoiding melodrama and sentimentality, he delivers less tension and fewer surprises than his readers have come to expect. BOMC alternate. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992 Release date: 01/01/1992 Genre: Fiction
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