Truth and Consequences by Alison Lurie - review by Lucy Beresford

Lucy Beresford

Campus Affairs

Truth and Consequences

By

Chatto & Windus 232pp £15.99 order from our bookshop
 

There is something unsettling about an Alison Lurie novel, and Truth and Consequences is a good example. Initial impressions are of convention. There are no tricksy titles to the chapters, no postmodern self-conscious narrators, no drug-pushers, no faddish multiculturalism. Her characters have traditional names and do ordinary things: men eat ham sandwiches, and women wear shirt-waisters. You always feel you ought to know where you stand in Lurie World, and to some extent, by the end of her novels, you do. And yet her novels are deceptive. Her writing shocks in small ways, and the after-shocks linger.

A slipped disc in Alan Mackenzie’s back proves to be the trigger of the unravelling of his marriage to Jane. This marital collapse is depicted in minute detail, particularly Alan’s depression over his ongoing incapacity, and Jane’s guilt about her resentment of her new caregiver role. Into their enmeshed lives

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