Instead of You CL

Constance Schraft, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $18.95 (206p) ISBN 978-0-89919-948-1
Louise, the narrator of this melancholy comedy, has grown up in her sister Charlotte's shadow. Charlotte is beautiful, impetuous and something of a tyrant; Louise is sensitive, calm and meek. When Charlotte is killed in a car accident, Louise takes a leave of absence from the Manhattan school where she teaches music, bids a temporary adieu to her self-obsessed screenwriter boyfriend, and moves to the suburbs to take care of Sam, Charlotte's grief-stricken husband, and their daughters Sara and Annie. The move, with its elements of fantasy--Louise has always adored her sister's children, and has craved stability in her own life--all too quickly raises difficult questions. What, after all, is Louise to do with her own life and desires? How, if ever, is Charlotte's ghost to be laid to rest? In her crisis, Louise is joined by her mourning parents, her irascible aunt Clara, and her bossy, aged grandfather as well as two appallingly marriage-minded neighbors. Louise is a charming narrator, and Schraft has a sharp eye for comedy and manners. Her novel, however beguiling, refuses a pat and easy ending: it is about grief more than anything else. As a closely observed tale of family life, it will strike responsive chords. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8041-0842-3
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