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The promise Redmon showed in Emily Stone and Music and Silence is, unfortunately, not sustained in her most recent endeavor. Narrator Irene Ward, an epileptic blessedor cursedwith second sight, returns home to mull over the mysterious deaths of her older siblings, the twins Mathilde and Durrand. Irene's tremulous narration is interspersed with painful memories of growing up in genteel poverty in Baltimore. Products of an alcoholic mother and homosexual father, all three children are emotionally stunted. Irene, the most normal of the lot, becomes a schoolteacher. Mathilde restores icons, while Durrand joins a fanatical religious order called the Holy Compassionate. After Durrand is struck and killed by a train, Mathilde persuades her younger sister to accompany her on a tour of the Soviet Union, Mongolia and China. It is here that the novel abruptly turns ghoulish. The sisters are haunted by their brother's ghost, a distinctly malevolent presence. Redmon's quiet sense of humor and sensitivity to subtle power struggles between individuals are missing here. It's almost as if they've been blunted by the unrelenting misery of her characters.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Irene, narrator of this morbid gothic, is an epileptic gifted with second sight. Her two older siblings, Mathilde and Durrand, are fraternal twins who can't live with or without each other. Durrand, monkish and militaristic, joins a religious cult in Paris and dies an apparent suicide. Mathilde, a restorer (and sometime smuggler) of Russian icons, is even stranger and crueler than Durrand: she recounts the story of their relationship as she leads Irene on a long, pointless train journey through Russia and Mongolia, where she dies mysteriously in the Gobi Desert. It's hard to care for these characters: Irene is weak and her "gift" seems only odd; Mathilde and Durrand are a poor man's Heathcliff and Catherine. An obvious literary talent is wasted here. Laurence Hull, Cannon Memorial Lib., Concord, N.C.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Dutton Adult, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0525246053
Book Description Dutton Adult, 1988. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0525246053