Reisman, Nancy. The First Desire, a novel.

Author:Goldsmith, Francisca
Position:Young Adult Review - Book Review

REISMAN, Nancy. The first desire, a novel. Random House, Anchor. 310p. c2004. 1-4000-77990. $13.95. A

The second quarter of the 20th century marks the period when the five Cohen children step into their highly individuated and stylized worlds. Sadie is already Sadie Feldstein, newly married to a dentist. Jo's moodiness is obvious but hasn't yet reached the riptides of anger and meanness that develop as her personality evolves across the years. Celia is not altogether normal, but her descent doesn't seem as precipitous as Jo's. Goldie leaves Buffalo almost at the outset of the story, disappearing out West, dead to their father. And the only brother, Irving, toys with his identity: gigolo, WASP, gambler, soldier, son. As Reisman constructs the family timeline against carefully limned settings, replete with Buffalo neighborhoods and four seasons of intense weather, each sibling's viewpoint vouches for the accuracy of the others', although it seems that this is the only aspect of life on which the siblings would agree. Sadie values fine appearance, fine feelings, social security, and her ability to cope with her odd relatives. Jo allows her longing for a woman at her workplace to fester until...

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