Books: Strong Sister

FALLING by SUSAN FROMBERG SCHAEFFER

307 pages. Macmillan. $6.95.

Falling is a rare example of an endangered fictional species—a novel about a person who happens to be a woman. Sexual politics, job rights—the whole shebang—have less immediacy for 31-year-old Elizabeth Kamen than the fact that she is a daughter, a granddaughter and one of millions of people caught in that ancient paradox, the human family. Parents love their children but do not know how to nudge them out of the nest without causing serious damage. Children love their parents but cannot leave gracefully.

Love, separations, anxiety, recriminations—the family is that perpetual-motion guilt machine,...

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