Family Attractions

Judith Freeman, Author Viking Books $16.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-670-82108-2
Freeman's 11-story debut is an able chronicle of the ordinary, bittersweet routine of family life, but one wishes for more sparkle in her earthy, gentle prose. In the title story, a man marries a woman 25 years his junior and gradually assimilates into her family, but the specter of a hospitalized child forces a wedge between a young Mormon couple in ""Going out to Sea.'' In ``What Is This Movie?'' a mother demonstrates solidarity with a somewhat estranged daughter by deflating the tires of a car belonging to the younger woman's unfaithful lover; and the Mexican gardener of ``The Rake People'' abducts the beloved pet of a married client who refuses his affections. A number of stories depict characters on the threshold of change: a UPS man delivers a package to a lonely widow on her birthday and stays for dinner in ``The Joan Crawford Letter''; a woman who breaks off a relationship with a married man musters strength and resolve from her family in ``Camp Rose''; a converted Mormon's recovery from a grave illness brings him closer to faith in the pagan magic of nature but spurs his wife to renounce the last vestiges of her Catholicism in ``The Death of a Mormon Elder.'' (Mormons figure in several pieces but, with the exception of this story, the background details are, unfortunately, not developed.) (February)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 227 pages - 978-0-14-010533-9
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