Written by Cynthia Ozick
Review by Janette King

Trust – how this comforting word beguiles…

Allegra Vand – author and socialite – wants only the best for her daughter. This includes European travel, for what well-to-do New York daughter doesn’t know Europe? But Mrs. Vand’s careful planning evaporates upon receipt of an ill-timed and unwelcome demand.

Set initially in the post-WWII period, Trust follows its nameless heroine back and forth across a span of more than thirty years in this reissue of Cynthia Ozick’s first novel. Guided to a degree by two stepfathers, the protagonist is sheltered from her true father, the mysterious Gustave Nicholas Tilbeck, who turned away from his role early in her life; Nick, who, like “…the lie of omission…the silent hollow within the flute’s facile cylinder cannot be put away, and will continue to plague the universe forever…” A description worthy of Allegra Vand, the omission’s main author; it’s no wonder Nick’s re-emergence proves unsettling for her and for her daughter.

Ozick’s rich narrative is compelling and beautiful but sometimes confusing; the deliberate lack of first names and surname for two main characters leads to some remarkable modes of attribution. Trust is a captivating novel.