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Good Night, Henry
by Jennifer Olds

Category: Fiction / General
352 pages; ISBN: 0451215184

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


Good Night, Henry
Jennifer Olds
NAL, Jul 2005, $12.95, 352 pp.
ISBN: 0451215184

Professional polo player Tucker Twist-Black suffers a career ending injury. While in the hospital he reflects on what is important and knows he let down his wife Melvina Brown and their two children ten-years old Archie and nine years old Theo when he left them years ago. Now he wants back in their lives, but Archie loathes him for deserting them and Theo who has one arm wonders if it was his imperfection that sent dad leaving as he believes it did before. Tucker knows he has no chance with Mel who has a boyfriend Walter Beech who helps her along with her dad and her sister.

Mel allows Tucker to try to regain what he lost with the kids though her family and her boyfriend would prefer Tucker left. Every evening before going to bed she says GOOD NIGHT, HENRY hoping that one day her brother will return home; he fled town a decade ago after a fight that she caused. Still feeling guilty over what she did to Henry’s life and unable to forget, she allows her estranged spouse a chance with his children giving her renewed strong that one day her sibling will come home.

GOOD NIGHT, HENRY is a powerful deep relationship drama. The simplistic yet delightful story line intelligently focuses on the complex connections between people; sister with sister, father and his daughters, mother and her sons, father and his sons, people and animals, woman and man, and finally a “ghost” and his sister. Readers who appreciate fully developed casts starring in realistic situations inside an entertaining tale will want to read Jennifer Olds’ astute family drama.

Harriet Klausner


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