Though its setting is quite different, this highly readable, richly detailed slice of life offers the same absorbing vision of a single family in a particular time and place as do Elizabeth Jane Howard's Cazalet Chronicles. Set in a Rhode Island fishing village-cum-resort town, the narrative focuses not on the upper-middle-class, white collar characters that Rice has heretofore brought to life in such well-reviewed novels as Crazy in Love and Secrets of Paris , but on a family of hardworking restaurateurs. The action revolves around Cass Keating Medieros, the youngest granddaughter of Sheila and Eddie Keating, founders of the family's successful restaurant, Lobsterville. Though Cass and her fisherman husband Billy have been ``madly in love since eighth grade, and proud of it,'' their marriage has begun to show the strain of caring for their partially deaf daughter Josie. Meanwhile, their teenaged son is experiencing his own first grand passion; their nephew dabbles in Satan worship; and Cass's embittered sister Nora blossoms when romance unexpectedly comes her way. These and other engaging subplots keep the narrative sailing briskly along; frisky sex scenes are another plus. A dangerous sea storm clears the decks for this multigenerational saga's unabashedly teary and heartwarming resolution. Rice writes with assurance and is particularly adept at illuminating the inner lives of the novel's youngest characters. 35,000 first printing; Literary Guild selection; author tour. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1993 Release date: 09/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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