From Publishers Weekly
The real-life 1989 murder of Charles Stuart's pregnant wife, supposedly by a black assailant, gripped Boston and exposed racial and class tensions that pulsed through the city's neighborhoods. Giardina's intelligent fourth novel (after Recent History
) riffs off those events, but keeps the focus on class and the title ethnicity. Growing up in working-class Winship, north of Boston, Tim O'Kane is an "ethnic runt," the lone Irish boy among a group of three Italians. He and two of his friends go to college and graduate into differing classes of good jobs—district attorney, real estate developer and, in Tim's case, textbook salesman. Tim marries a woman with a wealthy father, buys a house in the suburbs and finds himself alienated. Tim and Co. are regularly drawn back to Winship and to the company of their former group leader, Billy Mogavero, still charismatic but also still living at home. Tim and Billy pull each other into their respective worlds, with Billy getting taken up by bourgeois Boston—at least until Billy's new wife is murdered. Like Ron Carlson and Richard Ford, Giardina pinpoints the pleasures and anxieties that come with wife, children and a big front lawn. He keeps readers guessing about who committed the murder, but the real payoff is what the crime reveals about Tim's tightly manufactured life. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the
As adolescents, Tim O'Kane and his friends are enamored with Billy Mogavero. Perhaps it is his ease with women, or his vaguely homoerotic advances, or even the nonchalant way he beats a cop senseless on prom night. However, years later, seeing his friends pursuing the typical suburban family life, Billy attempts to follow suit--a professional job, a wife, and a nice house complete with apple trees--but he always seems a bit averse to the lifestyle. Then, one horrific night, there is a shooting. His wife and unborn child are killed, and Billy escapes with only minor injuries. When no suspects can be fingered, Billy's increasingly erratic behavior garners whispers that he killed his own family. Tim, still somewhat under the adolescent thrall to Billy, struggles to convince himself that his friend is innocent, but, finally, he sees there is indeed a monster inside him. Drawn from real-life events in the early 1990s, this novel attempts to explain what can drive a man to desperate ends, but, ultimately, there can be no sense made of senseless, appalling violence. Ian ChipmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to the