Perfectly Pure and Good

Frances Fyfield, Author Pantheon Books $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-42665-3
With this nimble meld of ghost story, moral fable and psychological drama, Fyfield ( Shadow Play ; Question of Guilt ) joins the ranks of those writers--Peter Dickinson and Michael Dibdin among them--who reinvent the genre with social commentary and impressionistic narrative brushstrokes. Red-haired Sarah Fortune, a young and effortlessly attractive widowed lawyer, goes to East Anglia to sort out the muddled legal affairs of the family of recently deceased Henry Pardoe. In the same seaside town two years earlier, red-haired Elisabeth Tysall committed suicide by drowning. A year later her husband Charles--who had also been violently obsessed with Sarah--did the same, walking into the sea. While villagers report sightings of both Tysall ghosts, Sarah gradually discerns the twists within the troubled Pardoe family. She deals with a pouting, brutal younger son, a bitter older son (a doctor and once the lover of Elisabeth Tysall) and a teenaged daughter in love with a local boy; the widow Pardoe appears to be over-the-top loony. Honing in on their secrets, Sarah gradually reveals secrets of her own. This is a complex, unsettling novel. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.