John Neufeld MICHAEL McCUE and EVIE WILSON - Essay

MICHAEL McCUE and EVIE WILSON

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The impact of her parents' divorce on 14-year-old Tessa O'Connell is the subject of [Sunday Father]…. Seen through her eyes, the difficult adjustments confronting divorced parents and their children become real and immediate. Young adults can identify with Tessa's effort to understand the role of love in each person's life. Her inner dialogues reflect Neufeld's ability to capture teenage parlance. He has depicted Tessa's conflict of loyalties and emotions with sensitivity, and the interrelationships among characters are well drawn. This contemporary novel should enjoy wide readership among YAs. (pp. 674, 687)

Michael McCue and Evie Wilson, "Elderly Books for Youngerly Readers: 'Sunday Father'," in Wilson Library Bulletin (copyright © 1977 by the H. W. Wilson Company), Vol. 51, No. 8, April, 1977, pp. 674, 687.

"This ain't Love Story and I ain't got no lingering disease." So snarls Torrie Hansen [in The Fun of It], but Torrie does wind up near death in the hospital, and this novel does wind up being as artificially contrived, cute, and treacly as anything Erich Segal ever churned out…. Ned Webster is an about-to-be-divorced stockbroker who has coffee at Torrie's luncheonette and confides his credo to his standard, smart-alecky, in-love-with-the-boss secretary: "I grew up believing in fidelity and kindness and duty and real love." Can square Ned and bitter Torrie … find love in the city? More to the point, can author Neufeld keep them going for a whole book? He can, but only by having Torrie idiotically try to keep her son and ex-husband a secret from Ned, and by having Ned idiotically say tactless things to Torrie in bed. Then the ex-husband appears with a knife, kidnaps the kid, and Torrie gets slashed and is near death in the hospital … ah, but that's where you came in. And where, if you're wise, you checked out.

"Fiction: 'The Fun of It'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1978 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XLVI. No. 3, February 1, 1978, p. 129.

[The Fun of It: A Love Story is the] story of two people who have already loved and lost but who just might like to tempt victory again…. Neufeld is at his best in depicting the initial apprehension and droll conversations that turn into true affection once emotional caution is overcome. A gentle, affirmative story with several flurries of violent action.

"Fiction: 'The Fun of It: A Love Story'," in Booklist (reprinted by permission of the American Library Association: copyright 1978 by the American Library Association), Vol. 74, No. 16, April 15, 1978, p. 1325.