Recent History

Annette Williams Jaffee, Author Putnam Publishing Group $18.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0-399-13357-2
Jaffee (Adult Education) has in this second novel created an engaging and somewhat melancholy portrait of two sisters. Noonie and Rosie Gluck share an unusual childhood with a fortune-telling mother who supported them by working as a photographer. Now adults, Noonie has an unfaithful husband and an unhappy teenage daughter, while Rosie is a gay long-distance swimmer who lives with her coach. United by family crises, the sisters, long estranged, find themselves having to face each other, but first they must deal with many old and bitter disagreements, including the value of attempting to identify their unknown father. ``I don't know why I'm the way I am,'' Rosie tells Noonie, reflecting on their differences. ``But I know what I wanted: I wanted to feel comfortable, and you wanted to feel stirred.'' Jaffee has an ability to convey the irritation and affection of mothers, daughters and sisters. Filled with delightful and often funny observations and details, Recent History offers a knowing look at a family and some exceedingly well-crafted prose. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 00/00/0000
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