Bitter Harvest

Susan Bowden, Author
Susan Bowden, Author Signet Book $6.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-451-20237-6
Reviewed on: 02/01/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Hardcover - 978-1-57490-373-7
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Offering a refreshing glimpse of a culture unfamiliar to most Americans, Bowden's family mystery (following Forget Me Not) is set in Canada's Maritime Provinces. When aging Eleanor Tyler begins to suffer a series of terrifying incidents (such as catching a glimpse of her dead husband and finding her dog on her bed, murdered), her rigid control over her family, its multinational food business and even her sanity are jeopardized. Her family insists that she is hallucinating, but Eleanor knows her experiences are real. More frightened than she'll admit, Eleanor attempts to make an ally of Michelle Tyler, the granddaughter she's never met. Michelle has heard nothing good about the family that rejected her late mother as a pregnant teenager, and she has enough to cope with given a brand-new pregnancy she's not sure her restless reporter husband will welcome. Still, she reluctantly agrees to visit the Tyler mansion for Thanksgiving and receives a hostile greeting from her new aunts, uncles and cousins. The book's exaggerated villains and their melodramatic schemes have a 1980s flavor and clash with the far more appealing contemporary portrayals of Michelle and her circle. As always, however, Bowden offers her readers a well-paced, straightforward narrative. (Feb.)
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