FORSAKING THE ODDBALL LIFEDate: June 21, 1987, Sunday, late City final Edition section 7; page 15, column 1; book Review desk Byline: by MARY-ANN TIRONE SMITH; Mary-Ann Tirone blacksmith is the author of ''The book of Phoebe.'' Her second novel, ''Lament for a Silver-Eyed Woman,'' will certainly be published next month. Lead: LEAD: SOMEWHERE turn off THE COAST that MAINE by Ann Hood. 225 pp. New York: Bantam Books. Paper, $6.95. Text:
SOMEWHERE off THE shore OF MAINE by Ann Hood. 225 pp. New York: Bantam Books. Paper, $6.95.
THE tenaciously effective television sitcom ''Family Ties,'' v Michael J. Fox, was initially intended to game viewers with the hilarious interactions in between ex-hippie parents and also their conservative 1980's teen-agers. ~ a few episodes, the focus of the present shifted to the much more orthodox kinds of troubles that exist within typical families. Why? because ex-hippies aren't funny and also neither are conservative kids. Hippies to be dead serious about ''dropping out'' and were just amusing come outsiders that saw their beads, shawls and communes together a freak show. Ann Hood's an initial novel, about three former flower children and also their present-day family life, rings true.
Suzanne, Elizabeth and also Claudia come of age in the so late 60's and early 70's, when the death threat the Vietnam hangs heavily over the top of unprepared college students, threatening your plans, eliminating joy. The three women invest their work making protest posters and their night escaping the unescapable by smoking cigarettes pot and also making love. Claudia is the complimentary spirit native Haight-Ashbury, sent by her parents come a ''safe'' college in Maine. There she renders a girlfriend of the serious war protester Elizabeth, and also together they take it the conservative, shed Suzanne under your wing.
''Somewhere off the shore of Maine'' opens with Suzanne's 14-year-old daughter, Sparrow, and also the heading ''Sparrow, 1984.'' Sparrow finds a snapshot of her father, who impregnated Suzanne and also refused come marry her. Sparrow's story is her search for she father, v her mom acting together a roadblock. ''Why won't friend tell me about him?'' Sparrow pleads. However for Suzanne, that component of her life is over, including her intensely close friendship v Elizabeth and Claudia. That is so over the Suzanne has actually even begun calling Sparrow Susan and also plans come marry a corporate executive whom Sparrow detests.
On to ''Rebekah, 1985.'' She is the 15-year-old daughter that Elizabeth and Howard. They have actually remained hippies, making and also selling pottery and giving Rebekah dried fruit and nuts for lunch. Consequently, Rebekah is an outcast among her peers, yet arrives in ~ the frequently adolescent conclusion the her looks space to blame. For this reason she steals money native the till and has a sleep job. As soon as her circumstances stay unchanged, Rebekah proceeds her find to find herself. But there is a roadblock in front of Rebekah, too. She mother has actually cancer.
Henry, the 17-year-old kid of Claudia, is in love with Rebekah. Henry has regulated to get about the roadblock gift by his mother: she madness, brought about by the catastrophic drowning that Henry's larger brother throughout the halcyon days when his and also Rebekah's household lived together on a farm. Here, the author is excellent in demonstrating Claudia's inability to cope v such a grievous loss: ''Later, world told Claudia that she, too, had actually run down to the pond, right behind Elizabeth. They stated that she had stood screaming at the leaf of the water together Elizabeth pulled Simon out and tried to breath life right into him. But she was certain that they were wrong. She had actually stayed in the garden and picked the lettuce and also then the summer squash. One ambulance came and still she retained picking. But don't you remember to run up the hill, stop Simon's hand on the stretcher and Elizabeth yelling for the children to go within the house? lock asked her later.'' Claudia remembers continuing to be in the garden until Elizabeth came for her. '' 'No,' they told her later. 'You ran down to the pond and rode in the ambulance every the means to the hospital.' however she shook she head.''
and also so we suffer with these females as castle plod with the years, wincing at your impulsive actions wrought by the Vietnam era, one era vividly captured by Ann Hood in this accomplished novel. COFFEE, TEA OR SUBPLOT?
farming up in the small town the West Warwick, R.I., Ann Hood became fascinated through books and by faraway places. ''In the 5th grade, I created a novel and also sent it to Bennett Cerf, whom I'd watched on TV,'' she said, talk on the phone from her apartment in Manhattan. (He sent back a ''very gentle'' rejection.) as she scribbled much more stories and devoured books like ''Jane Eyre'' and also ''Little Women,'' she came throughout ''How to be a flight Stewardess,'' through Johni Smith. That significant the start of her 2 careers.
Ms. Hood came to be a flight attendant in 1979, a year after she graduation native the university of Rhode Island. She functioned for Trans human being Airlines for three years - traveling the world ''as a closet writer'' - until a layoff in 1982. That year, her brother died in an accident. Together she grappled v his death, she said, she also realized that ''if you want to execute something, life is too quick not come try.'' The result: she enrolled in graduate college at brand-new York University and also began creating the story that evolved into ''Somewhere turn off the coastline of Maine.''
Ms. Hood was only 9 years old in 1966, the year her novel's 3 main personalities meet at college. Yet like her characters, she has powerful memories of the era. She earliest impressions came through her brother, that was 5 years she senior. ''He and also his friends had actually American flags sewn on their jackets, and also there were always Volkswagen vans in our yard,'' she said. ''The society took top top a fascination because that me as I flourished up.''
Still, she said, ''I didn't set out to write about the 60's. I want to write about relationships - around kids and also their parents and women's friendships. The 60's versus the 80's appeared a good way to capture that.''
Ms. Hood is currently at work on a 2nd novel. ''It's around a death in the family and how it splinters the family,'' she said. When again her childhood impressions will come right into play.
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''The adult in the publication were children in the 60's.'' DEBORAH STEAD
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