Mendocino

Judith Greber, Author Crown Publishers $18.95 (356p) ISBN 978-0-517-56761-6
Perhaps fearing that a novel spanning seven generations of ordinary folk who do ""the work of the world'' would not be enough to lure readers steeped in the antics of the rich and glitzy crowd, Greber (The Silent Partner) pours a contrived melting pot of bloodlines into one California family. Remaining in the Mendocino woods after his expedition leaves in 1842, a Russian trader builds an intricately decorated, rambling house for his family. Though beautiful, it is both prison and sanctuary to his American-Indian wife and the generations that follow. To dreamy, sensual Daisy, daughter of a Chinese ``sing-song girl'' rescued from a life of prostitution, the house is a ball and chain keeping her from an exciting outside world. To her offspringa half-Mexican son and a half-Irish daughterit's a place to first escape from, then return to, as their dreams and fortunes are crushed by World War I and the Depression. History weaves through these lives as a somewhat perfunctory backdrop, but their more personal stories speak of an America regrettably full of prejudice and persecution. Though Greber's characters embrace stereotypes, it's their freshness and pluck that will strike the reader most. Literary Guild alternate. (March)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-345-35938-4
Paperback - 388 pages - 978-0-595-13963-7
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