Mistress Moderately Fair

Katherine Sturtevant, Author
Katherine Sturtevant, Author Alyson Books $8.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55583-137-0
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Within this colorful and historically accurate romp through 17th century London's theater district, muddy streets and stimulating coffee houses, a sensitive romance develops between two womenMargaret Featherstone, a playwright, and Amy Dudley, a mysterious and talented actress. Meanwhile, the various personal and professional struggles of the King's Company are revealed through the multidimensioned personalities of Mr. Cary, the director and owner, Elizabeth Hill, the beautiful lead player, Margaret's African servant Kicharuzi and, of course, Margaret and Amy. Beyond the challenge of maintaining their illicit relationship, the women grapple with the choice of fulfilling love or ambition. Despite their intimacy, Amy does not reveal her troubled past to Margaretand her abrupt disappearance wounds her lover deeply. To assuage the pain, Margaret returns to ``the strange, lonely world of invention'' to write her finest play. The new work demands an exceptional actress, and both Cary and Margaret determine it must be Amy. The search for her moves rapidly toward the stunning and well-crafted denouement. Even if the pieces of this first novel fit too neatly, the reader is thoroughly charmed by Sturtevant's elegant prose and carefully conceived characters. (October)
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