The Chosen One

Caroline Sibson, Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (221p) ISBN 978-0-312-02885-5
This wry, carefully wrought first novel slowly reveals the circumscribed life of middle-aged Elizabeth Lashley: dutiful daughter, chaste divorcee and well-regarded professor of child psychology at a London university. Her prim lifestyle vanishes overnight when she resolves to seduce one of her students, cocky, high-spirited 20-year-old Colin Weston. What follows is Elizabeth's long-delayed metamorphosis from ice maiden to unabashed sensualist in a highly erotic, emotionally satisfying relationship played out against scenes from her cautious, traditional upbringing as a cherished adopted child in a wealthy family. Though she obeyed the rules of the 1950s, the rules failed her: her husband ran off with another woman, and her retarded son died before his third birthday. Elizabeth's rapid emergence from her self-imposed barriers of guilt and grief is launched by her wildly exuberant affair. The relationship ends in quick, unforeseen tragedy, but does not reverse her belated awakening. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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