Perfect Harmony) splices past and present, covering 2,000 years on the California coast. Erica Tyler, a talented anthr"/>
 

SACRED GROUND

Barbara Wood, Author
Barbara Wood, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-312-27537-2
Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-55927-681-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-312-98252-2
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4299-8253-5
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In a historically cloudy page-turner, Wood (Perfect Harmony) splices past and present, covering 2,000 years on the California coast. Erica Tyler, a talented anthropologist haunted by a professional mistake, sees the excavation of a collapsed pool in an exclusive Los Angeles suburb as an opportunity to restore her reputation. She persuades her reluctant boss to give her the case, even though she will have to work with Jared Black, an old adversary employed by a state agency that protects indigenous interests. In a parallel narrative, Marimi, a Topaa Indian, is expelled from her clan when she embarrasses the shaman by saving a young boy predicted to die. She and the boy, led by visions, walk for miles to an area they can settle. As Erica's dig proceeds, she meets opposition from the Indian community, local residents and the state; threats and violence soon follow. Complicating the dig further is Erica's powerful attraction to the enigmatic Jared. As each new artifact and clue is discovered, the narrative returns to the tale of Marimi's descendants, some of whom are blessed with foresight. Erica is driven to resolve the mystery of the site for personal reasons; raised in a series of foster homes, she is deeply conscious that she has no family history of her own. The novel concludes in the present, neatly twining all of the stories into an unsurprising but upbeat finale. Erica's theories are too consistently accurate to be plausible, and Wood does her readers a disservice by failing to provide better clarification of what is fact and fiction, but her fans will likely welcome this flawed yet engaging tale. Agent, Harvey Klinger.Foreign rights sold in 12 countries. (Sept. 18)

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