Tell Me the Truth about Love

Mary Cable, Author Atheneum Books $19.95 (197p) ISBN 978-0-689-11871-5
A worn plot and some thin characters are given fresh appeal by the coolly appraising voice of Cable's ( Avery's Knot ) ironic, detached narrator. A scandal is threatening Decatur and Lydia Smithson, patrician owners of the vast Gallegos Ranch in New Mexico. Their diletante son David (married to the impeccably correct Bishy) has instigated a lawsuit seeking to obtain custody of his parents on the grounds that they are habitual drunkards and therefore incompetent. What he really wants is their ranch, which the Smithsons have willed to a questionable religious sect. Lydia requests aid from the rest of her family but her plea only unleashes a flood of bitter and hostile memories from her other daughter-in-law Alex, who, as the child of low-ranking foreign service officers, was never considered suitable Smithson material. In a dispassionate voice Alex recalls her improbable affair with David 19 years earlier that resulted (unknown to David) in the birth of a son, subsequently given up for adoption. Now the teenager is heir to some enormously valuable property, and his appearance at the ranch, under pressure, forces some painful confrontations. A fine eye for detail and some elegantly drawn portraits save this story of a family in transition from becoming unbridled melodrama. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-517-11435-3
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