Miami: 2a Saga

Evelyn Wilde Mayerson, Author
Evelyn Wilde Mayerson, Author Dutton Books $22.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-525-93646-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 496 pages - 978-0-451-18147-3
Hardcover - 743 pages - 978-0-7862-0267-6
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Sweeping, panoramic, engrossing, convincing--the superlatives too often facilely applied to historical fiction are truly merited by this lively drama about the founding and evolution of Miami. Spanning the years between 1886 and the arrival of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the novel chronicles the fortunes of five generations of five families peopled with an assortment of spirited characters. Mayerson, a native Floridian and professor of English at the University of Miami as well as a popular author ( Well and Truly ), convincingly weaves together the fates of black and white settlers, Seminoles, carpetbaggers, winter visitors and Latinos, whose combined energies, ambitions and foibles coalesce in the electric, international atmosphere of the city today. The often tense, conflicting intermingling of disparate heritages provides much of the basis for the narrative, which is tightly written and well focused--an especially notable achievement given the stretch of history covered. Mayerson is a skilled storyteller who deftly uses all the tools of her trade to craft a well-honed traditional novel marred only occasionally by stiff dialogue and a few rather shallow characters. These faults are unimportant in comparison to the novel's exciting scope and sterling entertainment value. Literary Guild selection. (Mar.)
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