Maiden's End

Josephine Boyle, Author
Josephine Boyle, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (265p) ISBN 978-0-312-03391-0
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
British writer Boyle delivers a chilling psychological thriller in her American debut. Virginia Blackie, a yes? per mss? neglected, emotionally needy 16-year-old who looks barely 12, lives in London with Petra, her lush of a mother, and Sandy, a randy Hungarian stepfather accustomed to having his own way. When Sandy buys a barren, decaying country house, Virginia pleads with Derek, her real father, to prevent the move. As usual, Derek does nothing. Virginia hangs out in Highgate cemetery spinning fantasies about a Victorian fireman killed in the line of duty until her building emotions are externalized in the form of a vandalistic poltergeist who wrests for her the power she had been denied. Boyle takes time laying the Gothic foundation, but just as the reader gets impatient, the pace quickens, speeding to a tense finale in which the heroine does more than blossom. (Dec.)
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