The Cartomancer

Anne Spillard, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (238p) ISBN 978-0-312-02556-4
In this contemporary first novel, wry, funny and misleading, the improbably named narrator-heroine, May Knott, grew up in an orphanage, where she was consigned by her unwed mother. Now, years later, she lives in an English village with Edwin, a professor at Camelot College, where she tells friends' fortunes with playing cardsand writes the enigmatic novel we are reading. Because of her extraordinary good looks, May excited the passions of a whole parcel of professors and the malice of their wives, all of whom sleep around casually while censuring May for the same activity. Then May discovers Edwin making love in a bathtub to one of the loose-living faculty wives. When she summarily leaves him, he is inconsolable and seeks out her dotty mother to keep him company. To tie up all these knots (or Knotts) is a delicate job; if we are not quite sure at the end whether everyone will live happily ever after, we've had enormous fun watching the work in progress. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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