In Full Possession

Helen Flint, Author St. Martin's Press $14.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-312-03848-9
British author Flint makes her U.S. debut with this slender tale whose implausibility is unredeemed by the febrile brilliance of her taut, idiosyncratic prose. Television repairman Benedict Ashe, age 38, lives in Sheffield with his dying mother, Bet, to whom he is utterly devoted. The doctor recommends that Ben take Bet to Australia, which would necessitate selling their house. But their tenant Margot, protected by British housing laws, refuses to move. When Bet dies, the anguished Ben plans a fitting revenge on Margot, who blithely assumes him stupid because of his lack of education. Flint ably conveys the gulf between Ben's and Margot's perceptions, but the novel loses momentum midway, bogging down in copious descriptions of parenthood after Margot has a baby; the resolution, easily foreseen, is hardly moving. Flint is possessed of a rare style and perspective; perhaps she will realize her talents more fully in the future. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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