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THE FAMILY REUNION,
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, NY, 1974.


On the last sunny day before the day this world comes to its end, the family visited Monte Carlo together-that is, all the family who managed to come to Nice for the reunion. Monaco was an appropriate place for the occasion, though at the time, of course, no one knew that it was quite such an occasion.

Still, a soupçon of apocalypse was there. After all, it was the only time they'd all be in Monaco. Chaim and Sophie might not have thought that much-Monte Carlo was only a short bus ride from Nice and they could have gone again at any time. But the others had come a great distance, and for them it was now or never. Perhaps even for Chaim and Sophie, who were getting on in years, growing too old for vain journeys. The South Africans were also getting on in years, and not likely to travel so far again. Certainly they would never all be together as they were on that day. The young Americans might not have thought it particularly important to be together (though one couldn't altogether tell-the husband seemed to care for the family, though it was his wife's side), but the others knew that life wasn't going to offer much more (and perhaps the Americans guessed it too). So there was a touch of mistrust of each other in the day's dealings, as though all feared the others would spoil things.

But in spite of the day's familial mishaps they showed the child what one might call a real palace not altogether incompatible with those he saw on television, crowning its mountain over the Mediterranean, and they photographed the changing of the guard.

Although there were hints already that the world was coming to an end, the family weren't keeping up with the papers. They were on vacation. It was hardly likely even if they'd read the day's news that they'd have noticed anything imminent; the four horsemen had been galloping about so long the sound of their hooves seemed as natural as cars. Only when more messages started coming in, the sheep in Utah, and monsters born in defoliated zones, vials of botulism and 2, 4, 5-T, when the sea became as the blood of a dead man and every living soul died in the sea and the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters and they became as blood, then the American couple, younger than the others, and living perhaps nearer to the source of the trouble in Cambridge Mass 02138, started to feel uneasy and attended to the television when it told them that the great city was divided into three parts (Rev. XVI, xlx, not cited by the media). Then the day before, that last sunny day, in the postcard principality when the family (more or less) had been together, fixed in their memories with nostalgia as of a lost world and a golden age.

Short listed for National Book Award.

"The Family Reunion is surely one of the most notable novels yet written by a South African, and how magisterially she goes to work in it. In her structuring and style one must recognize one of Joyce's heirs, something even Nabokov could be proud of. She manages to be lively too – plastic, moving and a virtuoso."
Andre Brink,
RAPPORT, 1975

"Rose Moss's achievement is in giving words to action, making it enter living history."
Peter Nazareth,
WORLD LITERATURE TODAY

"There is little that makes pleasant reading in this unusual, unique, and unflawed first novel....It's saga is brilliantly written and executed."
Sigmund Lavine, WORCESTER TELEGRAM
September 22, 1974

"...a satiric and compelling tale..."
Sylvia Rothschild,
JEWISH ADVOCATE
May 30, 1974

"...the ultimate eschatalogical novel...we are treated top Joycean days and Jamesian prose..." 
Adeline Naiman,
BOSTON GLOBE
June 30, 1974

"...a work of exceptional brilliance and sensitivity..."
Alec Cutler,
CAPE TIMES
March 12, 1975

"...Rose Moss has a fine mastery over her prose, is witty as well as scholarly, and unobtrusively compassionate as well as mercilessly accurate..."
Lionel Abrahams,
RAND DAILY MAIL
March 1975

"The pleasure the novel provides is that of following a literary tour de force..."
Thomas Vogler, WELLESLEY ALUMNA MAGAZINE
Autumn 1975

"...brilliant characterization assumes added profundity..." 
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