Treasure Box

Orson Scott Card, Author HarperCollins Publishers $24 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-017654-9
When naive computer-nerd and millionaire Quentin Fears meets the woman of his dreams at a posh Washington, D.C., party and then marries her, he thinks his life is complete. But in this low-key horror novel, appearances can't be trusted and people aren't always in control of their actions. Although Madeleine seems quite sophisticated, there are deficits in her memory and her background is vague. She claims a large, well-to-do family but invites no relatives to the wedding. When Quentin finally meets his in-laws at their palatial Upstate New York mansion, they strike him as eccentric, almost as cartoons of real people. The domineering grandmother, whom Madeleine hates, sits in a trance, eyes closed, refusing to speak. There are hints of past child abuse--and of the possibility that a young boy may have been murdered. Why do so many of Madeleine's relatives have names identical to those buried in the family cemetery? And why doesn't Madeleine leave any footprints in the snow? Although the story moves toward a powerful climax, its primary pleasures are more subtle: strong character development and complex motivations, a mystery to solve, the discovery of wheels within wheels. It's rare that Card, renowned for his science fiction (see the review of his Children of the Mind, below), switches genres. But when he does, here as in his Lost Boys (1992), there's little lost and a rare pleasure gained. $50,000 ad/promo; author tour; U.K., translation, first serial and dramatic rights: Barbara Bova. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
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Prebound-Glued - 978-0-606-22211-2
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Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-06-100820-7
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