Eileen Kennedy

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 229

Why shouldn't an intelligent and independent thirty-two-year-old woman have a baby by her lover whom she doesn't want to marry? One good reason why is that if she's snappish, surly, and selfish as this female narrator, no child needs her. This very slight novel [Give Me One Good Reason], told from the point of view of a heroine with the impossible name of Gabrielle Van de Poel, recounts the impact Gabrielle's decision has on her liberated, arty parents, her earth-mother sister who makes raising two children seem a herculean task, and her sister-in-law who hates children. Because nobody in this novel suffers from any moral strictures—among the various characters there is an unbelievable number of abortions and extramarital affairs—I kept wondering what Gabrielle was making such a fuss about. (pp. 376-77)

Illustration of PDF document

Download Norma Klein Study Guide

Subscribe Now

I found the characters cold, unconvincing, and endlessly manipulative of other people, especially the metallic Gabrielle. On the other hand, the writing is sparse and clean, with crisp dialogue and an insistence on concrete details that gives the book a certain immediacy. Let's say if the reader's idea of the good life is found among the values portrayed in New York Magazine, that reader might find this book meaningful, significant, and oh, so real. I didn't. (p. 377)

Eileen Kennedy, in a review of "Give Me One Good Reason," in Best Sellers, Vol. 33, No. 16, November 15, 1973, pp. 376-77.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

Carolyn Balducci

Next

Lucy Rosenthal