SURVIVING THE SEASONS by Fern Kupfer Laurel: $7.95

If there really is a thin person inside every fat one, struggling to get out, there must be a taught 200-page novel straining to emerge from this flaccid 327-page one. In her tale of shifting values within the generations of a Jewish family, Kupfer creates characters who are believable and even likable, although they take forever and a day to say or do anything. The story shifts between the Bronx and Florida and between the '40s and the '80s, but Kupfer's wordy prose moves so slowly that following the shifts is like watching a Ping-Pong game in slow motion. It's easy to imagine one of the older characters turning to the author and demanding: "Kum schoen"-- "So come on already."

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