As Much as I Know

Susan Thames, Author Random House (NY) $19 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-40495-8
Five short stories, each of them fully dimensional and resonant, mark the debut of a talented writer. ``If There's Anything You Want to Know'' is a delicate story about a little girl who senses her mother's betrayals even as she is desperate to please her. A cameo appearance is made here as well by the characters of ``Gone,'' a complex story about a mother, Sophie Topilsky, who runs a newspaper and candy store, and her teenage son. As Benny strives to become more independent, Sophie is haunted by echoes of her own incestuous upbringing. The book ends with the title story, an outstanding tale about a young woman's journey to the family and home she fled 10 years earlier as a pregnant teenager. Now with her nine-year-old daughter in tow, Jeannette has run out of options. ``When I am not headed anywhere, just someplace that hasn't come to me yet, it's like waiting to grow hungry so I'll know what to eat,'' she realizes. Linking all the stories is the binding power of love between parents and children and the equally inescapable force of betrayal. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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