Thief of Dreams

John Yount, Author Viking Books $18.95 (227p) ISBN 978-0-670-83802-8
Yount's carefully wrought, quietly affecting novel explores the bonds of parenthood, the pain of a divorcing couple and the emotional confusion of their son, 13 years old in 1948. Her unhappy marriage a succession of trailer parks and lonely nights, Madeline Tally leaves her boozing, ne'er-do-well construction-worker husband Edward, and returns with son James to her parents' farm in North Carolina. Announcing her intention to divorce, newly liberated Madeline falls for a small-town lawyer who offers legal help. But her headstrong, philandering husband wants a reconciliation. James, torn by these events and driven by guilt after a school chum who defended him in a brawl is hospitalized, runs off into the woods. Communing with an imaginary guiding spirit, Seminole Indian chief Osceola, James subjects himself to a life-threatening ordeal in order to prove his self-worth. Yount ( Toots in Solitude ) advances the narrative from the three Talleys' perspectives, getting inside each character's mind in a generous and thoroughly convincing manner. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-1-56054-192-9
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-1-5040-0703-0
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