Starred Review. Cartwright's hilarious, despairing, rapier-sharp third book (Leading the Cheers) delivers a great deal of the absent titular emotion. The five members of the Judd family, reeling from a series of personal and professional blows, have each retreated into a private world. But the impending release of eldest daughter Juliet, an art historian incarcerated in an upstate New York prison for helping to sell stolen Tiffany windows, sets the plot—and the family—in motion. As Juliet—once the apple of her parents' eye but now the family's black sheep—drives to the city with brother Charlie, her father mulls his own professional disgrace, her mother looks to home cooking as a salve, sister Sophie continues to wean herself off drugs (and a married man) and Charlie, the rock of the family, has doubts about his impending marriage to a South American socialite. Each sees their efforts as "the secretion of human folly," but the novel retains a measure of hope for the very thing it despairs of: family. Happiness may be too much to ask for, but its chase, Cartwright suggests, can be at the best of times a family pursuit. (Jan.)
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Former golden girl Juliet Judd has just been released after serving two years in a New York prison for art fraud. Her homecoming offers her distraught family a chance to reunite and, at long last, to feel a sense of normalcy. Her 68-year-old father is failing, recently forced out of his job and into retirement in the Cornish village of Trebetherick. Her mother obsesses over cooking classes, as if it's her bad cooking that landed her daughter in jail. Meanwhile, Juliet's sister, Sophie, distracts herself with drugs and a married lover, while brother Charlie, soon to become a millionaire after founding a company that sells socks over the Internet, feels that his impending marriage to a glamorous Brazilian is something of a sham. Prizewinning British novelist Cartwright effortlessly shifts the setting from New York to London to the Cornish coast and ranges freely between the verve of youth and the regrets of late middle age; however, he reserves his thorniest writing for the complicated Juliet, who wrestles with guilt and yearns for closure. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.