An Independent Woman

If you weren’t a fan of Howard Fast’s ”Immigrants” series, fluent in its characters and histories, nothing in An Independent Woman will mean much to you. Fast assumes you know all about Barbara Lavette (the seventysomething matriarch), her best friend, Eloise, and the assorted relatives who orbit around them. And because he assumes such knowledge, he feels no need to establish his characters. They pop out, fully formed. This is the kind of book that can say of its heroine, ”The long, smooth curves of her body were still much as they had been at thirty.” It’s a claim only the already converted could possibly accept. For the rest of us, the reaction is simply to cry ”Foul!” C

An Independent Woman
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