Fran Arrick Gail Tansill Lambert - Essay

Gail Tansill Lambert

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Anthony Hamil, aged fifteen, hung himself with his father's neckties. The end of his life is the beginning of [Tunnel Vision]. Fran Arrick lets us in on the relentless horror, bewilderment, and grief suffered by members of his family and friends. The story is non-stop reading accompanied by an ache in the throat and misty eyes. (pp. 207-08)

[The] survivors are drawn together, and slowly and agonizingly share their anger and guilt along with their shock. Utterly vulnerable, they begin to see in each other and in themselves strengths and weaknesses they never looked for before.

Fran Arrick writes as if she knows her subject and characters well, and the subject matter is of particular interest these days, suicide being the second leading cause of death in American young people.

This book is recommended for parents of any age child. But for kids I worry that the ending could be construed as possibly encouraging or condoning suicide; also because the problem of guilt is dispensed with on the book jacket—"All felt to blame and none was." Blame is perhaps too harsh a word to use, but in every human relationship there are elements of imperfection that need examining and forgiveness. (p. 208)

Gail Tansill Lambert, in a review of "Tunnel Vision," in Best Sellers, Vol. 40, No. 6, September, 1980, pp. 207-08.