I am going to confess that this is a book I reread almost yearly. It reminds me of my youth, I think. I still wonder about Neal Klugman and Brenda Patinkin. Wonder whether Neal ever left his perch at the library and went onto a more fulfilling profession. Did Brenda settle for a life like her mother had in Short Hills, a privileged if not terribly fulfilling future? I think that these characters remain with me is due to the incredibly faithful movie version with Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw, who perfectly captured the characters. Also Roth is a very good writer and this may be his most accessible, lovable book.
What book have you reread most? Was it a book that spoke to you in your youth?
An atmospheric and eagerly awaited debut novel from acclaimed crime writer Patricia Abbott, set in Philadelphia in the 1970s about a family torn apart by a mother straight out of Mommie Dearest, and her children who are at first victims but soon learn they must fight back to survive. Eve Moran has always wanted “things” and has proven both inventive and tenacious in getting and keeping them. Eve lies, steals, cheats, swindles, and finally commits murder, paying little heed to the cost of her actions on those who love her. Her daughter, Christine, compelled by love, dependency, and circumstance, is caught up in her mother’s deceptions, unwilling to accept the viciousness that runs in her mother's blood. Eve’s powers of seduction are hard to resist for those who come in contact with her toxic allure. It’s only when Christine’s three-year old brother, Ryan, begins to prove useful to her mother, and she sees a pattern repeating itself, that Christine finds the courage and means to bring an end to Eve’s tyranny.
“It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” ― C.S. Lewis
Patricia (Patti) Abbott
Patricia Abbott is the author of more than 125 stories that have appeared online, in print journals and in various anthologies. She is the author of two ebooks, MONKEY JUSTICE and HOME INVASION and co-editor of DISCOUNT NOIR. She won a Derringer award for her story "My Hero." She lives outside Detroit.