Cover image for Loving attitudes.
Loving attitudes.
Billington, Rachel.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[Place of publication not identified] : Ulverscroft, 1989.

Physical Description:
430 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
Format :

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Mary and David Tempest's peaceful holiday is splintered by a phone call from a young American girl, Elizabeth Crocker. She is Mary's daughter-the result of a youthful romance. Her brief visit to the cottage the Tempests have rented in the English countryside produces all variety of mayhem, from a car accident to the reunion of Mary and her former lover, Richard, Elizabeth's natural father. Billington writes with wry humor of the myriad entanglements that follow Elizabeth's visit. Like a slapstick character whose one misstep begins a chain reaction of calamity, Elizabeth is the blithe catalyst for a whole series of interpersonal crises. All of the couples that she has contact with-Mary and David, their daughter Lucy and her boyfriend Jo, their neighbors, and Richard and his wife, Cherry-become enmeshed in new affairs or at least are compelled to reexamine their current ``loving attitudes.'' There is tragedy as well as romance in Billington's provocative novel. DPD. [CIP] 88-5293

Publisher's Weekly Review

The milieu of her 10th and latest novel is familiar Billington terrain. Mary and David Tempest's comfortable, largely unexamined life as upper-middle-class London professionals is called forcibly and irrevocably into question by the sudden appearance of Mary's illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption 22 years earlier. In a quest for her natural parents, Elizabeth Crocker, the U.S.-reared daughter for whom Mary appears totally devoid of maternal feelings or compassion, acts as the catalyst for a mid-life marital crisis for both the Tempests and a neighboring Foreign Office couple on whom their lives impinge. Elizabeth also disturbs the life of her much older father, Richard Beck, and her college-age stepsister, Lucy Tempest. Lucy and her boyfriend Jo are as well-captured here as Elizabeth is not; Billington has a tourist's understanding of Americans. But the English characters' bilious perception of the girl's Americanness rings true, and so does their reluctance to scrutinize themselves very deeply. It would be interesting to plumb David's arrogant hypocrisy and self-indulgence, Mary's coldness and their mutual lack of self-knowledge and moral stature for which adulterous couplings serve as a substitute. Unfortunately, Billington's unsympathetic characters are curiously dimensionless and, as a result, uninteresting. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A quick and fairly satisfying story of an affluent, 40-year-old Englishwoman, Mary, whose life is abruptly altered when her adopted-at-birth American daughter finds her 22 years later. This meeting is the catalyst for Mary (now married with another daughter) to seek the father, whom she loved but has not seen since she was 18. In the process the author examines what men and women want, what a parent is, reality versus illusion, youth versus age, and especially, what love is. Although many questions about Mary are left unanswered until late in the plot and some inconsistencies exist, this tenth novel by Billington will appeal to public libraries with demand for either engaging British fiction about the upper class or for the author's work. Rebecca Sturm, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.