Home Thoughts

Tim Parks, Author
Tim Parks, Author Grove/Atlantic $16.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1035-0
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
A gaggle of lost, loopy expatriates cluster in Verona, Italy, the setting of this funny, bittersweet novel by an English writer ( Loving Roger , Tongues of Flame ) who himself lives in Verona. Julia Delaforce flees London partly to escape a 12-year affair with a married man, partly to expunge her guilt over an abortion. When she allows Sandro, a lazy Canadian Don Juan, to move into the flat she shares with Flossy, a militant feminist, it's obvious trouble lies ahead. Told mostly in letters full of gossipy backbiting, the novel exudes a sunny Italian lightheartedness that belies its serious intent. Cluttered with characters like Professoressa Bertelli, a paranoid academic, and Alan Bexley, an insufferable, high-minded writer, the story deepensand darkenswith Julia's sudden leap into maturity after her mother's stroke. Julia learns just in time that a life unlived exacts a terrible vengeance, a lesson lost on the self-seekers around her. The constantly shifting viewpoints multiply the smart comic touches. (September)
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