Although Jack Kinsella’s Uncle Jimmy was a little man, when he threw his weight around, he got what he wanted.
Except for one time when his plan backfired.
All In the Family by Edwin O’Connor
Little, Brown, 1966. 434 pages. 1966 bestseller #10. My grade: B+.
Since the eldest son has chosen the priesthood, the task falls to the youngest son, Charles.
The middle son, Phil, is his campaign manger.
Jimmy supplies money, influence, and drive, all of which has in abundance.
The family try to get cousin Jack involved, but as much as Jack loves his cousins, he is his father’s son: His father refused to bow to Jimmy’s will.
Besides, Jack is too focused on his reconciliation with his wife to have much time for politics.
Edwin O’Connor is a fine writer. The opening chapter is a pearl, worth reading all by itself.
Although O’Connor leaves a glimmer of hope in the final chapter, the novel is permeated with a sense of melancholy.
Jimmy’s ambition destroys his most cherished asset: his family.
© 2015 Linda Gorton Aragoni