Leaving Barney

Bette A. Moskowitz, Author Henry Holt & Company $17.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0536-3
This appealing first novel begins with the title character's accidental death. When Barney Goodman is killed by a collapsing bookshelf, he leaves a widow, Tessie, and a bookstore in a declining Bronx neighborhood. He also leaves a number of mysteries to be unraveled: What did Barney do with the proceeds from the life-insurance policy he converted to cash months earlier? Who is the elusive M. H. Ross, who periodically writes Tessie expressing an interest in buying the bookstore, yet never shows his face? On top of these problems, Tessie must deal with hoodlums who victimize old people in her neighborhood and a daughter whose marriage is in shambles. Most of all, she must deal with her own doubts about the tempestuous marriage she and her husband shared. Were all her years with Barney wasted? Could she have done better for herself? In due course, the feisty widow meets all her challenges, and this thoughtful narrative ends on a pleasant, upbeat note. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Hardcover - 357 pages - 978-0-89621-186-5
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