The Piper's Tune

Dallas Miller, Author William Morrow & Company $15.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-06476-1
A sprawling view of social change in America in the '60s, Miller's latest novel, following Fathers and Dreamers and Passage West, ends up more soap opera than saga. On the East Coast, Charles Molloy, conservative head of an international construction company, is funneling money to Republican candidates who embody his vision of America. Meanwhile, in Boston, his granddaughter Kathleen, a Radcliffe student, is falling in love with a Harvard boy who, with his black roommate, is a member of CORE. On the West Coast, Father Joseph Cassidy, friend of the fasting leader of the migrant workers and son of a prominent union official, is asked to help John Kennedy win the Democratic presidential nomination. Social activism sets Father Joe in conflict with his bishop and his conscience as it leads Kathleen to reevaluate her rarefied upbringing. While the Cassidys and Molloys never meet, Miller neatly connects their stories just as Kennedy wins the West Virginia primary. Solid on plot and showing careful attention to the shifting patterns in the social fabric of the time, the narrative is weakened, however, by stereotypical characters who are more demographically representative than human. (September 22)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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