A Secret Life

Gillian Nelson, Author H. Hamilton $0 (245p) ISBN 978-0-241-11524-4
A sensitive exploration of emotional ties that begin in innocence and bind destructively in maturity is the matter of Nelson's (The Spare Room Cupboard, The Cypress Room) quietly compelling novel. Set in the Scottish Highlands, it is the tale of the smothering love of Alfred Tickener (""Tikki'') for his daughter, Holly. Holly's life, built on that love and her reciprocation, becomes almost a mirror image of his. Through rejections and withdrawals on both sides, even despite marriage and affairs for Holly, she remains her father's creature. By adroitly peeling away the layers of Tikki's emotional wounding in childhood, the author makes clear the man's need to slowly encase Holly, until she becomes the only woman in her father's life. Half-understood emotions vie with the pull of land and sea for characters wrestling with their fates. December
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
Genre: Fiction
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