Escape Into Light

Elizabeth Webster, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (295p) ISBN 978-0-312-06964-3
This clumsy effort from the British author of The Flight of the Swan starts out like a bargain-basement version of Mary Gordon's Final Payments. Caroline Gilmour passively serves her hypochondriacal and abusive mother, who has spent the last 15 years in bed. When her mother dies, Caroline experiences a relief so great that she becomes imbalanced. Gripped by an inexplicable terror while in the park, she is calmed by one Jon Armorel, a photojournalist being treated for trauma at a psychiatric facility. Jon brings Caroline to the same facility, where she recovers from nervous exhaustion and changes her name to Charley to match her new outlook on life. When discharged, Jon gets an assignment in Tunisia and hires Charley as his assistant. In this exotic setting each learns to trust the other and, eventually, her- or himself. Webster's depiction of her protagonists' mental anguish is pat, as hollow as the trite conventions of her plot. Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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