Little Peg

Kevin McIlvoy, Author Atheneum Books $18.95 (250p) ISBN 978-0-689-12107-4
Little Peg has been a resident of Everview, a psychiatric treatment center, since 1971, the year her brother Ben died of injuries sustained in Vietnam; by 1988 she has recovered to the point that she can phase back into society. Peg contemplates returning to her estranged husband and the daughter who was born prior to her self-imposed committal; protects close friend and fellow Everview patient Francis; and teaches a creative writing course where she unapologetically replaces her students' short stories with her own autobiographical work. This disconcerting practice is therapeutic and allows Peg to reveal the details of her breakdown, which she attributes mainly to the situation surrounding Ben's death; it is the vehicle by which the reader comes to understand (if not sympathize with) her behavior. Interspersed throughout the novel, the stories are Peg's perceptions of reality and are told from the points of view of Peg, her family and a family photographer, a resourceful method of flashing back although the different voices here have obviously sprung from the same source. McIlvoy ( The Fifth Station ) has written a reliable, effective account of a disturbed yet stubborn and strong personality. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-380-81476-3
Open Ebook - 155 pages - 978-1-61187-429-7
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