One Summer's Night

Mary Alice Kruesi, Author
Mary Alice Kruesi, Author Avon Books $5.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-380-81433-6
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In a novel that promises more magic than it delivers, Kruesi (Second Star to the Right) traces one young woman's encounters with fairyland. Laurel Carrington's life changes dramatically when the famous illustrator Maybelle Starr sends a letter requesting that the novice artist travel to Fallingstar, Vt., and become her pupil. Hoping to learn how to paint the fairy world as beautifully as Starr, Laurel leaves behind a fianc and a furious father. In Vermont, Laurel experiences an awakening of her senses as she discovers an innate connection with the natural world. While she charms bees, befriends a bear cub and paints the woods, Laurel begins to understand Maybelle's art and the magical world that she believes in. Dane, Maybelle's neighbor and gardener, falls in love with Laurel on the night of the summer solstice and seeks to protect her from his evil stepfather and prevent her from continuing with her unhappy engagement. When Dane's stepfather, Laurel's fianc and her father arrive in Fallingstar, a predictable sequence of events places Laurel in jeopardy and reveals Maybelle's secret. Although Kruesi creates a fairy-tale-like world, the poorly rendered villain and an undeveloped subplot involving Dane's sister clash with the whimsical elements of her story. (Apr.)
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