Books: Passages

THE WOODS by David Plante Atheneum; 123 pages; $8.95

Growing up is learning to hop from the self, the family and the world without getting wet feet. In David Plante's two previous novels of the Francoeur family, these slippery steppingstones have protruded from still, deep waters. The Family, nominated for a National Book Award in 1979, introduced the French-Canadian clan at home in Providence. Papa was a machinist, and his wife, mother of seven sons, a closet hysteric. Son Daniel, then an adolescent, proved to be a precocious observer and subtle dramatist of domestic conflict. In The Country (1981), Daniel was, like...

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