CHEEVY by Gerald DiPego (Little, Brown: $22.95; 304 pp.). The prologue of Gerald DiPego's well-written but flawed novel concerns a heavy mirror that unexpectedly falls off the wall and smashes into countless shards. That event, and all it symbolizes, becomes the book's central metaphor.
Claude Cheever--"Cheevy"--has spent his life running like a hamster on a wheel in the desperate hope of keeping his family together. His efforts have met with varying degrees of success. But when Cheevy turns 20, the mirror finally crashes down, forcing his family to deal with each other head-on for the first time. Those who have been there disappear, those who have been absent reappear, and tragedy strikes.