Remember This

Dinitia Smith, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (291p) ISBN 978-0-8050-1036-7
This earnest tale of loss and recovery rises out of Manhattan writer Laura Fiske's recollections of her childhood. Laura was five, living in England where her father was in the Foreign Service, when her mother died. Soon after, her father married an English woman with a young son named Simon, to whom Laura, lonely and bereft, became closely attached--feelings that will form a paradigm of emotional connection for Laura as she matures. After her stepmother loses custody of Simon in a bitterly contested suit, Laura goes to live with her grandparents in the States, joining her father and his wife when they move to Virginia a few years later--there is no word of Simon. Through the years, Laura learns that her father and stepmother were having an affair before her mother died, and that her mother's knowledge of that relationship may have contributed to her death. As a young adult, gradually uncovering her anger at her father and stepmother, Laura realizes her own affair with a married man parallels their relationship. At this point, Simon, an ex-convict, reappears in her life, and Laura is able to examine--and act on--her feelings for him, finding release from the constraints of her past. Smith ( Hard Rain ) writes with passion and intensity, but her characters lack a comparable forcefulness, seeming more the subjects of a psychological study than participants in an absorbing story. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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