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Daybreak Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
A Southern couple struggles with the impending death of their son.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
To be charitable, you don't really think about how weak everything in this book is until you've finished zipping through it at about 150 mph. It is then, when you sit back to ponder its you'd-better-not-be-anti-Semitic-because-you-might-be-Jewish-too message and your mind flashes back to the countless TV movies that treated with equal sensitivity and superficiality the burning issues of our day (rape, child-parent relationships, fatal diseases, prejudice, etc.), that you begin to wonder what the superficial aspect of this formula means. Does it mean, for instance, that the issue is being exploited for some other purpose? Does it mean that we, the readers or TV viewers, handle these issues better when we're not called on to actually think? Anyway, something like that seems to be going on in this story of Tom, the nice young man who grows up to be a bigot like his dad and even becomes, through his girlfriend, an ardent follower of a David Duke-style politician. What he doesn't know--at first--is that he was swapped at birth with a boy who dies of cystic fibrosis (on about page two of the novel) and that he is really Jewish. Fortunately, we know he's soft-hearted like his piano-teaching mother because he's so kind to his younger "brother," who also has cystic fibrosis. Tom's reaction to discovering the truth is self-hatred and denial until his girlfriend, a true anti-Semite, finds out, and then Tom becomes sensitive again. Tom's nazi father is, by the way, the cause of all this cystic fibrosis (irony of ironies), and is, of course, Southern. Tom's real, Jewish parents are intellectual and rich, his dreamy, piano-playing "mother" is destined to find a man as kindhearted as she. La, la, la; very predictable, pretty dumb. Stuart Whitwell --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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