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Friday, February 7, 2014

A Thousands Pardons by Jonathan Dee


I always love it when Jonathan Dee, a former student of mine from my first three years of teaching, produces another book.  A Thousand Pardons is his latest entry. It is about survival.  Helen has to survive a cheating, disbarred husband, Ben, who ends up in a sanitarium and then the sudden death of her new boss. She and her adopted twelve-year-old daughter have to start all over again after having been on top of an upper middle class lifestyle.
Dee confronts a delicate issue of adoption. Adoption by white parents of non-white children. In this case Helen and Ben adopt an Asian child, Sara, and her best friend is an African American adopted by a white family.
Helen’s new job is crisis management. She is great at it and rises quickly. The problem is she is vexed by her own problems: Ben, Sara, and Hamilton. Hamilton is a movie star and old grade school chum of hers. Her company deals with his movie studio and well, they get reacquainted. Hamilton doesn’t remember her, but when e suddenly gets into trouble it is Helen who he calls. Up to this point we think we are into a tragic novel when it suddenly becomes a heart-felt comedy of errors with everyone realizing how to say, “I’m sorry.”

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