Waking the Moon

Elizabeth Hand, Author HarperPrism $19 (390p) ISBN 978-0-06-105214-9
When Sweeney Cassidy, a naive freshman at the University of the Archangels and St. John the Divine in Washington, D.C., falls in with the wrong crowd, she is expelled for taking part in a lurid escapade. But Hand (Icarus Descending) offers no usual tale of adolescent antics in this full-blooded gothic fantasy. The university is a haven of the Benandanti, who for millennia have guarded against the return of their ancient foe, Othiym Lunarsa, the Moon Goddess. In Hand's post-feminist tale, however, the goddess is not a comfortable earth mother figure but a powerful destroyer. The Benandanti are unaware that Sweeney's friends Oliver and Angelica are the Chosen Ones, whose violent coupling under the moon will begin to wake Othiym. Oliver kills himself, Angelica disappears and Sweeney is whisked away by the Benandanti. Twenty years later, Sweeney's summer intern at the National Museum of Natural History turns out to be the son of her old classmates, the result of that wild moonlit night. Young Dylan's mother has become Angelica Furiano, a New Age author with a large following of goddess worshippers. As Angelica's power grows, fed by the blood of young men, she is gradually becoming the goddess. But Sweeney, vowing to thwart the transformation, confronts Othiym in an apocalyptic showdown. Blending the ancient with the modern, the fantastic with the real, Hand has created a violently sensual fable helped by smart pacing and vibrant prose. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 497 pages - 978-0-06-105443-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-694-51564-6
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