Irish Princess

Mickey Clement, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (254p) ISBN 978-0-399-13951-2
Aiming to blend a family saga with a coming-of-age drama, this first novel fails to provide either a saga's sweep or a bildungsroman's lucid resolution. Still, the episodic story--narrated by various members of the Malloy clan in Troy, N.Y., over the years 1964-1982--has its interesting moments. In strong, clear prose, Clement portrays Mike Malloy, his wife Clare and their daughters Margie and Maureen (Mo). Opening with the discovery of Mike's brother's frozen corpse, the book includes many other deaths and closes with a final fatality. Much of the text is devoted to honor student and family beauty Mo's experiments with sex and her romance with the Jewish David Markovitch, which ends predictably with an unwanted pregnancy. An earlier development shows Clare and Mike losing a premature baby; the tragedy shakes Clare's faith, which upsets her devout husband. Peripheral characters include Mike's religious bigot of a sister, Bridey, their politician brother Paul and German sister-in-law Hildy. The different points of view sometimes prove interesting, but repetition and faulty sequencing lessen the tale's momentum. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-425-14830-3
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