Palace of Light

Jacoba Atlas, Author Dutton Books $18.95 (373p) ISBN 978-0-525-24738-8
A New York family fractured by conflicting moral and social beliefs, the fledgling film industry and the violence instigated by pro-union activists are the focuses of this multifaceted, intelligently written novel by a producer of the Today show. In 1911, Simon Mishkin has already disowned his son, Danny, a notorious fugitive who bombs buildings owned by anti-union employers. Danny's politically neutral sister, Mirah, keeps Mishkin Motion Pictures afloat while she silently fumes at Simon's chauvinistic, strait-laced views and wonders how long her brother can avoid arrest. Wealthy Jameson Horgan's presence further complicates the Mishkins' lives. A friend of Danny's since their Yale days, Horgan vociferously supports the workers' struggle despite his privileged background. He joins Mishkin Motion Pictures, then awakens Mirah's repressed sexuality and heightens her awareness of the management-labor clash. As they begin a volatile romance, they also fight to save Danny from two capitalists determined to see him caught. The passions and complexities of these characters make them engaging, especially as one follows their efforts to balance fragile personal relationships and hotly defended social views. Scenes depicting the rigors of filmmaking enhance the novel's appeal. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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