BLUE HEAVEN ~
Book review and technical detail BLUE HEAVEN ~ Elaine Kagan
|Technical detail of BLUE HEAVEN ~|
|Title||BLUE HEAVEN ~|
|Category||Fiction & Literature|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
Actress/author Kagan's (The Girls, 1994) exploration of the fateful ties and traditions that bind women together, for better and sometimes for worse. Eighty-year-old Mollie Ventimiglia, who lives in Kansas City with her third husband Lew, is suffering from senile dementia and declining fast. When Gilliana, Mollie's middle-aged daughter, finds her own marriage in trouble, she decides to escape Los Angeles and head to Mollie and her own childhood home, where she is shocked to find her mother incoherent and Lew exerting every scrap of energy to give her the care she needs. When she quits L.A., Gilliana leaves not just her husband behind but 17-year-old-daughter Clare, who is naturally worried about both her parents' marriage and her grandmother's questionable health. But Clare is not her mother's, or her grandmother's, daughter for nothing; in Gilliana's absence, she grits her teeth and stays on good terms with her troubled dad, contemplates and then decides against having sex with her boyfriend, and searches for a theme for her college application essays. Meanwhile, back in Kansas, Lew and Gilliana have to decide what to do with Mollie, and Gilliana has to decide what steps to take in her own life. Over the course of the present-day narrative, Mollie and Gilliana's personal histories (and failed romances) emerge; Mollie's WW II wedding to a dashing gambler (Gilliana's father), and Gilliana's passionate affair with famous comic Anthony Ronzoni--whose untimely death left her irrevocably scarred--give Clare (who is sent for by Gilliana and present at Mollie's eventual death) insight into her own life, and help give Gilliana, on whom everybody else's fate hinges, the strength to make the decisions she has no choice but to make. Nonsensical title and strained historical references aside, an undeniable poignancy colors Kagan's attempt to show three generations of women coming to terms with each other at the end of a life. (Literary Guild selection)
A new, irresistible, emotionally compelling novel by the author of The Girls. Three women -- Mollie; her daughter, Gilliana; and Gilliana's daughter, Clare -- take us into their lives. In the past, Mollie's story: her passionate early marriage, surviving separation in World War II only to be destroyed by her husband's uncontrollable gambling; the unexpected sweetness and soundness of the years of her marriage with the beloved Lew. And Gilliana's story: a perfect -- and doomed -- romance with a famous entertainer who is both charming and giving; a glamorous career; a failing marriage.And in the present: teenage Clare, observing the crash of her parents' marriage and, even worse, her grandmother Mollie's descent into senility, while she herself, on the brink of first love, tries to understand and avoid the mistakes and tragedies of her family's past.These are loving women: the generous, sweet-tempered, domestic Mollie; the ardent, wise-cracking Gilliana; the cool, straightforward, "modern" Clare. Their lives, their feelings, their richly articulated voices are the heart of this moving, embracing novel that catches the essence of family love, sexual love, and the sheer love of life.
Reviews of BLUE HEAVEN ~ written by Elaine Kagan. You can submit your own review to email@example.com. Suggestions be welcome.