Heroes and Villains

Steven S. Gaines, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (374p) ISBN 978-0-453-00519-7
Wallach ( Women's Work focuses on the staunch ferocity of maternal love and the ineffable terror experienced by a seven-year-old in this story of turmoil atan exclusive Manhattan school. Harried Cornelia Fuller is clumsily juggling many problemsa recent divorce from a narcissistic actor, unpaid billswhen she anxiously observes that her child, Livvie, can barely read. Unbeknownst to Cornelia, Livvie, who attends the elite Boston School, endures the derision of classmates, as well as repeated sexual molestations furtively inflicted on herby the institution's janitor. Suddenly, Dr. Billy Connor, the school's ruthlessly pragmatic new headmaster, plans to expel Livvie and other students with conspicuous learning difficulties. Cornelia joins a group of incensed mothers intent on ousting Connor, but her most indispensable ally is Dane Nillssen, a benevolent psychiatrist eager to heal both Fullers' anguish. With moving acuity, Wallach portrays the traumas weathered by mother and child, and carefully delineates the temperament of Billy Connor, for whom self-aggrandizement overrides judiciousness. This cogent, penetrating tale juxtaposes innocence and tyranny with uncommon subtlety. (October 17)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-451-15033-2
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-306-80647-6
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