Books: Family Circle

A DUTIFUL DAUGHTER by Thomas Keneally. 147 pages. Viking. $5.95.

One of the soundest laws of modern literature goes like this: novelists with the most damned consciences tend to write the most blessed prose. On the lengthy roster headed, of course, by James Joyce, Thomas Keneally supplies another case in point.

Like Joyce, Keneally once studied with a view to the priesthood. Joyce could not decide whether to define hell as Dublin or the nuclear family. Keneally agrees with Joyce about the family. His alternate hell seems to be his native Australia, and like Joyce...

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