From Publishers Weekly
This slight first novel attempts to chronicle the world of overprivileged youth in a sympathetic manner, but fails to generate interest in, much less concern for, the main characters. These include the narrator, Meredith, who describes her life from childhood with a rebellious mother through early adulthood as a student at Columbia University; and her cousins, the spoiled and thoroughly unlikable Pearce and Felicity, who plays the unenviable role of custodian to their emotionally unstable mother. Other members of this seemingly incompetent-at-life family come and go in a narrative that shuttles between the present and the past via flashbacks and reminiscences of earlier generations; the settings include posh tribal dwellings in South Carolina and on an island off the coast of Maine, as well as locations in Connecticut, New York and Washington State. The constant leaps from one place to another, from past to present, from one dysfunctional rich relative to some equally maladapted kin, are off-putting and confusing.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
The action in Rust's deftly written first novel centers around Meredith, a wealthy young woman who is trying to overcome a childhood spent in a dysfunctional family plagued by drug addiction, alcoholism, and insanity. Haunted by the untimely death of her mother, who deserted Meredith and her father, she shuttles between a South Carolina plantation and a Maine vacation home owned by her mother's family. She must in turn deal with her cousin Felicity and Felicity's brother Pearce, who have their own demons to conquer, including their uncle's mysterious suicide. As she contrasts Meredith's developing strength of character with the defeatism that threatens to destroy her family, the author's disjointed style of reminiscence and unresolved conversations serves the theme of adolescent trauma quite well. Recommended for general fiction collections.- Harriet Gottfried, NYPL
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.