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Article

Hope's Cadillac

Posted on

Hope's Cadillac

type:
Music
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Patricia Page

We gave it a B+

Hope’s Cadillac, a graceful first novel, reaches back to the ’60s to illuminate today’s hot topics: race relations, the divorce rate, victimized children. Without false nostalgia, Patricia Page revives the counterculture as it flourished in Houston around 1970. Her gentle satire encompasses a commune, a free school, a former Baptist minister who preaches ”the electric readiness of the senses,” and his new church, where a striptease replaces the Sunday sermon. Page’s heroine, Hope, is a single mother who loses custody of her children and winds up nurturing a needy black teenager instead. Meanwhile, all around her, parents flounder — rich and poor, black and white, square and rebel. ”How many people had a proven claim to adulthood? Wasn’t it always children bearing children?” Hope asks, anticipating the vocabulary of 1996. She concludes wisely: ”Good behavior was not so much thank-you-ma’am as being faithful to friends and hospitable to differences.” A sweeter, saner epitaph the ’60s never had. B+