Fifty Years of Eternal Vigilance and Other Stories: And Other Stories

Carolyn Thorman, Author Peachtree Publishers $14.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-934601-62-7
The twin themes of faith and loyalty work themselves into each of the 11 bustling stories in this debut collection about Lithuanian immigrants. In plain language punctuated with ethnic phrases, with whiffs of borscht and potato kugelis and in the company of priests who never refuse a companionable nip of vodka, the reader is made quickly at home. Neither philosophic nor literary in tone, the stories are nonetheless strongly moral, nowhere more markedly than in the wistful ``Blue Haired Chickens,'' in which a landlady, trying to evict a broken-down chicken farmer, slowly realizes that selling her property will bring her nothing but money. Similarly, the ambitious Stella Binkas of ``Binkas Sausage,'' envisioning a great factory that will bear the family name, is prevented by the memory of her own youthful longings from using her younger sister's vacation money to carry out her plan. The hilarious ``Knights of Puntukas'' presents in high seriousness the scheme of these same knights to convince the pope to finance their crusade to retake Jerusalem. Rough edges and all, this is a rollicking, earthy volume, whose protagonists endear themselves in all their muscular, hard-working desire to be true to the Lord and each other. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/03/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
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