Three Children

Lori Toppel, Author Summit Books $19.5 (207p) ISBN 978-0-671-73959-1
This engaging debut novel about an unconventional family is narrated in random turns by the three children of David and Julia Lyon. Raised in upstate New York, David opens his first supermarket in Puerto Rico in 1952 and continues to establish markets on other Caribbean islands. The children, Clarissa, Cora and Michael, born between 1955 and '60, grow up bilingual in an affluent suburb of San Juan. In the '70s the family moves to New York City; David and Julia's marriage disintegrates; and in a moment of extreme anger Julia reveals to the children the secret she has kept from them. This family portrait--gradually illuminating the bonds that unite the Lyons and the tensions that tear them apart--is as well the story of each of the children's coming-of-age. Although Toppel's nearly identical tone in the triple points of view gives rise to confusion about which character is speaking and a certain self-consciousness affects the prose, this is an absorbing story by a fluent, imaginative writer. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Hardcover - 978-0-517-10434-7
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