TITLE: HOME FIRES
AUTHOR: DONALD KATZ
PUBLISHER: HARPERCOLLINS; 615 PAGES; $25
THE BOTTOM LINE: The unpretty saga of an American family is brilliantly delivered.
The Gordons, who star in Donald Katz's vividly reported chronicle of "One Middle-Class Family in Postwar America," are real people, not composites or fictional characters. They bear no resemblance to the antic moms, dads and kids of television sitcoms. They do call to mind that scene in slasher movies in which a young woman hesitates before stepping into the darkness of a house filled with lurking horrors. You can't believe she is going to do something so...