["Miracle Play"] is about the Howells family of Bucks County, Pa…. Despite all their ups and downs, as the book ends, in 1976, the Howells clan is still intact. That is the "miracle play" of the title—the miracle of the family's self-renewal despite the powerful centrifugal forces exerted by historical and cultural change, and by the many accidents and ills of life….
In the best parts of "Miracle Play" Susan Shreve can suggest how particular family events reflect significant social and cultural trends without losing the rich specificity of individual character and motive….
[The theme of male supremacy and victimization of the female in earlier American social history] is...
(The entire section is 416 words.)