Mother's Girl

Elaine Feinstein, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-525-24688-6
Halina, a Jewish woman who grew up in postwar Britain, tells this evocative story to a little-known half-sister from America the night before their father's funeral. As a child Halina is sent from Budapest to live with a family in Leicester and is reunited with Leopold, her dashing and much-loved father, in London after the war. Resuming their former sophisticated life, neither mentions Halina's mother, whom the girl believes died in Budapest before Leopold fled to America. Halina has always rejected her mother, whom she believes her father had not loved. At Cambridge Halina marries a cruel, domineering Hungarian philosopher much older than herself. She tries unsuccessfully to forge a relationship with a writer from her college days as she begins her own teaching career; later she has some years of happiness with another man before caring for her father in his last illness. Moments after his funeral Halina is told of her mother's heroism and of her deep love for her daughter. Moving and authentic, Halina's story of her life is textured with the spirit of the times. The author is a poet and novelist living in London. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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