Sins of the Mother

Patricia Angadi, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-575-04433-3
With sophisticated wit and intelligence, the late-blooming author (with four novels published since turning 70) begins her highly readable tale in present day London as nearly 80-year-old Iphegenia Esmeralda Daly, a flamboyant black British cabaret singer of gargantuan girth and sensual appetites, draws up her last will and testament. Illegitimate daughter of a Mayfair call girl, ``Iffey'' had been sent to a ``proper'' convent boarding school, where she became bosom friends with conventional Rosemary. Iffey and Rosie's sisterly friendship persists nominally throughout their lives, despite the resentments and antipathies both feel for but largely conceal from one another--including Iffey's longstanding clandestine affair with Rosie's husband, distinguished actor Sir Hilary Donovan. If there is a flaw in this perceptive, believable and vividly described novel, it is that Iffey and Rosie are too neatly opposites. Iffey, Dionysian, gutsy, spontaneous and independent, is an genuinely loving mother to her gifted son Caesar; while Rosie, repressed, censorious and martyrish, is much less accomplished as a parent and something of a stick figure. But this is a minor caveat. Angadi ( The Highly Flavoured Ladies ) uses her sophisticated wit in entertaining fashion. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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