Books: Daughters Temporary Shelter

by Mary Gordon Random House; 213 pages; $16.95

Author Mary Gordon's three novels (Final Payments, The Company of Women, Men and Angels) offer expansive looks at the intricacies of family life, particularly the gifts bestowed and debts incurred by daughters, wives and mothers. The subject would seem to require the ample space that Gordon has devoted to it in each book, not because domesticity is so panoramic but rather so long, such a matter of daily minutiae, small increments of knowledge, feelings and guilt that gather from infancy to death. This process yields itself up grudgingly to the summary or the sketch; Gordon's formidable reputation has not been won...

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