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Homecoming Mass Market Paperback – October 13, 1998
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From Library Journal
Determined to unite all the members of her estranged family, Byrne family matriarch Annette invites them for a weekend. Will her two sons, haunted by a divisive court case in which one testified against the other, resume speaking to each other? Will Annette's granddaughter Cynthia let go of her bitterness toward the unfaithful husband she plans to divorce? And will Ellen's interfaith marriage to Mark finally be accepted?by both their families? It takes more than good intentions to bring this divided clan back together in this uplifting little novel, which is quite different from Plain's (Secrecy, LJ 3/15/97) long family sagas and perfect reading for the holiday season. Recommended for public libraries.?Elizabeth Mary Mellett, Brookline P.L.,. Mass.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
There's a certain amount of post-trauma misery and marital conflict here (featured in Plain's Secrecy, p. 748, and Promises, 1996), but that's just one element in this cockle-warming yarn about the efforts of an elderly widow to round up--and shape up-- her fragmented, warring family. Annette Byrne, 85, sends invitations to a snarling pack of descendants and their in-laws to join her on her estate in upper New York State. Among those not speaking or simply out-of-sync: sons Lewis and Gene, former partners, whose business was destroyed by corruption, for which each blames the other; Lewis's wife Daisy, whose cold manner antagonizes many; and Gene's nice daughter Ellen, who is married to Mark Sachs--none of the parents of the happy couple are thrilled with the Wasp/Jewish union. But a true tragedy blasted the marriage and lives of Lewis's daughter Cynthia and husband Andrew when their twin babies were killed in an accident. The terrible prolonged grief finally forced the couple apart-- Andrew was driven to a seedy sexual episode, and Cynthia began divorce proceedings. Now all of Annette's edgy guests have arrived, loving or respecting Annette but appalled by her plan when they realize the identity of the other guests. Will Annette bring them together? Well, yes and no. Yes, the grand, roomy old house, the handsomely appointed table, and yummo food (a Plain specialty) offer the background to peace talks, but Annette is finally reduced to tears. A chance event, potentially tragic, along with a lecture from Annette's neighborhood friend Marion, does bring them together. Cynthia is the last holdout, but sweetness and light prevail. It's all set in a winter landscape, with sleet underlining the central drama, but by the end the emotional thermostat is up and good feeling is spread all around. A small, warming holiday gift for Plain fans. (Literary Guild main selection; author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
As she writes her invitations of the last Homecoming, she says to herself, "I don't feel different from the way I felt when I was twenty. I only look different."
As e-mail is the way to communicate these days, there is still nothing as satisfying as to send and receive a well-written letter. Annette Byrne did such that December as she looked out at all of the Christmas trees they had planted. She had a special place with loving care to maintain it over the years -- it was a showplace.
Now, she has invited the brothers who had a falling out, embittered by a breach of ethics, honor, and trust. Those things happen in the best of families when a parent dies and the will favors one over the other. There are two grandchildren invited who are estranged from their families and the 'get-together' will do them good.
It is a touching story, as so many of Belva Plain's novel have been over the years. I especially enjoyed THE CAROUSEL and EVERGREEN.