Picks and Pans Review: Rounds

updated 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/18/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Frederick Busch

The hero is a pediatrician in an upstate New York college town. He blames himself for the death of his young son after an accident—and so does his wife, who leaves. Meanwhile another couple nearing 40 moves to an old farm in the area because the husband has taken a job at the college teaching remedial English to black freshmen. After two miscarriages, the doctor's wife wants desperately to adopt a child, and he finds one. This novel, rich with detail about a small-town clinic, has a range of terrible ironies and a melodramatic ending. But it is the doctor's haunted musings, his recounting of the ways in which children can suffer and die, that make this book vivid and utterly convincing. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $9.95)

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