Cover image for My father's geisha
My father's geisha
Bennett, James Gordon, 1947-
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [1990]
Physical Description:
pages cm
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Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The life of an Army brat isn't an easy one. In addition to leading an unsettled life, Teddy and Cora also have a tense, unhappy one--their parents have a wretched marriage. Father is distant and secretive, a career army man who often goes off on assignment without his family. Teddy, 11 years old, wants to know what philanderer means, having heard that his father is one. Cora escapes into movies, becoming an expert on films and star gossip. Teddy and Cora grow up and lead eccentric lives, their grudging childhood affection for each other soured into acerbic exchanges. Flashes of dark humor and a hopeful conclusion alleviate the sorrow. A strong first novel. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Siblings Teddy and Cora--who grew up in a squabbling, peripatetic Army major's family--learn that their elusive, recently widowed father has married an Asian woman with whom he has been involved since his service overseas. ``Bennett demonstrates a wonderful ear for dialogue and a storyteller's sure touch . . . despite a slight loss of momentum halfway through,'' said PW. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Are all army families unhappy in the same way? That's the question posed by this first novel, which ultimately considers how family members fail to nurture one another. There are some great characters here: shy, laconic Teddy, the narrator; his hard-boiled, bug-eyed sister, Cora, 13 going on 30; restless Mom, who drives around Beverly Hills at night; and Dad--well, Dad, who's always fighting wars, the hardest and most enduring between himself and his wife. It's the childhood aura that Bennett captures best: that sense of waiting, of being at the mercy of adults. In one incredible scene the troops parachute down and someone is killed--and for all Teddy and Cora know, it is their Dad. The novel offers great humor and dialog and some truly memorable scenes, but the ending fizzles. For larger fiction collections.-- Doris Lynch, Oakland P.L., Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

A disintegrating marriage is harder on Teddy than on his parents, and he knows he'll have an ulcer even before he can get his driver's license. Children of a career military officer, Teddy and his sister, Cora, move from base to base, listening to their parents argue; the family conflict spans Teddy's childhood, adolescence, and adult years, concluding as the remaining family members are able to accept one another. Narrated by Teddy and told in episodic style with references to past events, the stories are serio-comic; Teddy enters his old tree house to contemplate his parents' problems, only to fall through the floor and cut off his tongue. Exuberant language and unusual analogies abound (``Mom looks as good as a spit shine''), making the book pleasurable to read. Military offspring will relate to the constant moves, the loneliness of living on bases (especially with an acerbic-tongued sister such as Cora), and the difficulty in making friends, while other YAs will identify with the typical family problems. --Pam Spencer, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.