Picks and Pans Review: Years from Now

updated 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/07/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Gary Glickman

Here's a multigenerational family novel for fans of Belva Plain. Okay, Glickman is a better writer than Ms. Plain, but the story of what happens to the offspring of a Jewish immigrant couple as the family becomes increasingly affluent is mighty familiar. These people settle in Lewiston, N.J., a suburb of New York. The founding couple have 11 daughters, and Years From Now concentrates on the youngest and prettiest, Rose, her daughter Zelda and Zelda's son David. Rose and her husband, Max, have a cafe near the train station. They work hard and wind up able to afford fur coats, diamonds and retirement in Florida. Zelda has two sons and a daughter before her husband leaves her. Younger son David becomes a doctor. He's gay, as is his friend Beth. His mother's not too happy about that. The story of this family, 30 or 40 years, worth, is told mostly through complex scenes of religious holidays, weddings and funerals. Glickman does these particularly well, but he treats David and Beth with unfortunate sentimentality. While they are far less interesting than the other characters, their sex problems dominate the last half of the book. Glickman, part of New York's young literary set, had some foundation money to help him produce Years From Now. The surprise is that his first novel is so conventional. (Knopf, $16.95)

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