"The Son" and "Conference of Victims" (Gina Berriault) pdf, epub, doc

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In The Son, Vivian Carpentier is a woman in a desperate search for love. It is as though she spends the whole novel in a futile attempt to convince herself that she exists and is loveable. From the opening, when she stumbles precipitously into an ill-advised marriage with Paul Cardoni, a luckless aspiring actor, she falls into one affair after another in an ultimately hopeless attempt to find true love. This is more a novel of character than plot. Even though Vivian is tragically flawed as a character, one can identify with her terrible loneliness. It is a loneliness that transcends being alone or being with others; it is a cosmic loneliness. Vivian is one of the metaphysically homeless.

In Conference of Victims, Hal O. Costigan, a candidate for Congress, commits suicide after having an extramarital affair with a 17-year-old girl. Naomi Costigan, his younger sister, is left to deal with the emotional repercussions stemming from his suicide. As with Berriault's other novels, this one revolves around how people deal with loss, and with their own sense of isolation. This is also a novel which explores the effects of suicide upon those intimate with the person who has committed suicide.

Naomi is forty years old when her brother dies. His suicide makes her question her own reason for living, awakening her to an existential abyss within herself. The main characters—Naomi, Dolores, and Cort—are left to answer the question: why does a prominent attorney, on his way up in status and power — he's favored to win his Senatorial bid — suddenly opt out by committing suicide? Clearly, he did not do it over Dolores. Why, then? Was it an act of courage or cowardice? Berriault explores this theme in the latter half of the book.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Farrar Straus & Giroux (T)
  • File: 1.2 Mb
  • Release: 01.11.1985
  • ISBN: 9780865471986
  • Pages 249
  • Rating: 4.67 (3 votes)

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