What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

State of the Union
This topic is about State of the Union
SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Woman helps member of the Weather Underground. Spoilers ahead. [s]

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Fiona H | 19 comments I read this book eight to 10 years ago. A woman named Alice and her husband Dan (who I think was a dentist) and their baby son are living in upstate New York/Vermont in the 1960s. Alice's father is an academic involved with leftist student radicals. Her Jewish mother is very intense and difficult and criticises Alice for wanting to get married. Dan is away visiting his dying father when Alice's father calls and pressures her to help hide a member of the Weather Underground (WU) who is on the run after a bombing. The WU guy arrives and she with the baby in the back drives him into Canada in the dead of night. It's a long trip as she can't use the same border crossing. She never tells anyone what happened and life goes on.


A couple of decades later, Alice and Dan are living in a large city (can't remember where). Their son and daughter are now grown up. The WU guy has found God and recants his 60s radicalism. I think he had a radio show. Can't remember how he came to be back in the US (possibly change of identity). He brings out a book about his radical days and names Alice as the woman who helped him. He's quite a nasty person. Everyone turns on Alice, including the son who saw her as putting him in danger. The house gets red paint thrown on it. Dan has apparently been having an affair with her friend. Meanwhile, their daughter, who lived in Boston, has disappeared, and Alice and Dan are searching for her. At the end, the daughter finally calls her mother.

I found the book pretty engrossing and would be keen to read more by the author.

I recalled this book after I read Neil Gordon's The Company You Keep, about a former Weather Underground activist (played by Robert Redford in the movie). By the way, why isn't this (and others) shelved with the Weather Underground? Another book of similar genre is Peter Carey's My Life as a Fake.

message 2: by Tab (new)

Tab (tabbrown) | 4892 comments She Was She Was by Janis Hallowell ?

The names don't fit, but other parts fit.

Fiona H | 19 comments Thanks Tab, that's not the one as in the book I'm looking for it's the woman's husband who is the dentist and she did not take part in militant activities herself. However, it sounds like a good read and I've added it to my Want to Read list, so thanks for the tip.
P/S I named the wrong Peter Carey novel in my request - it should been His Illegal Self.

message 4: by Jo (new)

Jo | 141 comments Hi Fiona. The book is State of the Union by Douglas Kennedy. It’s brilliant and so are his others :)

message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo | 141 comments State of the Union sorry ... this is the link

Fiona H | 19 comments Hi Joanna, That's it! I have read some other books by Douglas Kennedy too - I agree they're brilliant. Huge thanks.

back to top