From the Heat of the Day

Roy Heath, Author
Roy Heath, Author Persea Books $19.95 (159p) ISBN 978-0-89255-175-0
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In 1920s Georgetown, Guyana, young Sonny Armstrong woos Gladys Davis, youngest daughter of a family from the better part of town. His dreams of becoming a writer and his sweet ardor win Gladys; they marry and move to the countryside. In very short chapters, Guyanese writer Heath ( The Murderer ) alternates Sonny's and Gladys's points of view. Sonny's salary as postmaster enables them to live fairly well; they have two healthy children and move back to town. After a third child dies in infancy, Gladys suffers depression, Sonny strays a bit, and the marriage begins to unravel. When Sonny loses his job in the Depression, the final disintegration sets in. Heath's prose is at once beautifully spare and psychologically dense. The couple's pain and longing are vividly rendered, and their acceptance of their fate almost provides a happy ending--each has a kind of epiphany--before a final tragedy shatters all. Readers will care deeply about these complex characters and look forward to the American publication of the remaining two novels in Heath's Armstrong family trilogy. (Jan.)
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