Making Waves in Zion

Sandra King Ray, Author, Cassandra King, Author
Sandra King Ray, Author, Cassandra King, Author Black Belt Press $22 (0p) ISBN 978-1-881320-27-2
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-1-881320-74-6
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In 1985 in the west Alabama county of Zion, gorgeous, brilliant and near-saintly Tim Sullivan is emerging from two years of hell. His ordeal began when he and best friend, Taylor Dupree, black-sheep scion of the ``high and mighty'' Clarks, had an auto accident that left Tim's right arm impaired, ruining his chance at big-time college football. Now Taylor is returning to town in order to keep his Aunt Della from being put in a nursing home. Through the eyes of four narrators (Tim's wife, the jealous, provincial Donnette; Aunt Della; Della's new niece-in-law, Ellis; and Taylor himself), varied fortunes are played out. Donnette fears that Taylor's return will shatter Tim's newfound peace, while Ellis, who has risen from white-trash obscurity to marriage with a Clark, feels threatened by the young man's presence. Meanwhile, Della wants Jesus to aid her precious nephew in putting his demons to rest. Taylor and a psychologist friend devise a way to help Tim reach college and further his recently recovered artistic talents, but after overhearing a purportedly shattering secret, Donnette exacts a hard price to make the scheme work. First-novelist Ray keeps things moving along at a decent pace, albeit with little humor. More problematic is her decision to use four narrators; their voices, though strong, tend to blend with one another. Despite its strains, however, this novel shows promise, especially in Ray's ability to capture the distinctly Southern nuances of her characters. (Sept.)
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