Mermaid's Song

Marianne Willman, Author St. Martin's Press $5.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-96256-2
Accused of a crime she didn't commit, Flora O'Donnell has taken refuge in a false identity and a job teaching at an English girls' school in 1894. When a detective makes inquiries about her, she flees again by accepting a marriage of convenience to the French guardian of one of her students. Swept into the world of Parisian high society and then to the family chateau in Brittany, she discovers that her brooding new husband has an agenda of his own, and that she's falling in love with him. Her sense of danger is intensified by a familial curse and legends about an ancestral mermaid. Willman (Pieces of Sky) has an imaginative, poetic story but then rather scotches it with the final melodramatic plot twists and plodding prose: ""The idea struck Flora as a wise one. She held out her hand to the other woman. `You are so wise! Thank you dear friend. I shall take your advice.' "" (July)
Reviewed on: 06/30/1997
Release date: 07/01/1997
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