Divine Victim

Mary Wings, Author
Mary Wings, Author Dutton Books $20 (256p) ISBN 978-0-525-93626-8
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-452-27210-1
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-7043-4323-8
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The narrator of this well-paced, if not always exciting suspense novel leaves the vibrant gay community of San Francisco to travel to Billings, Mont., with her lover Marya, whose great-aunt Rebecca has bequeathed her a house full of kitschy Catholic icons. Our unnamed heroine, a medieval art historian, becomes fascinated with the reclusive Rebecca's story when she discovers a beautiful Quattrocento box tucked away in the basement. This priceless object calls forth memories of the narrator's time in Italy with her former lover Ilona, a brilliant Swedish professor she has tried unsuccessfully to forget. She gradually comes to terms with her own past while pursuing Rebecca's to a convent in San Diego; just as she solves the mystery of the old lady's hoarded wealth, a painful personal secret catches up with her. Wings ( She Came Too Late ) writes straightforward, intelligent prose, and her lesbian protagonist's perspective is refreshing, especially when exploring Rebecca's deep-seated, mystical Catholicism. At times, though, plot developments are too neat, which robs the tale of some potential intrigue. Still, the author provides an enjoyable, original twist on the familiar mysterious-legacy story in a tried-and-true genre. ( June )
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