Artemia

Pamela Hill, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-312-04259-2
Artemia, ``a plain, long-nosed woman, with perhaps a certain placidity of temper,'' becomes the unlikely center that holds a tempestuous family in balance. Hired as companion for Lady Feldman, a grande dame of the 1850s, the period of the Crimean War, Artemia experiences a coup de foudre when she and Edward Feldman, the unhappily married eldest son, first meet. Their illicit union wins the grudging respect of Lady Feldman, produces two daughters and endures lovingly despite the constraints of Edward's public career. Passive and, as she says, ``suffering little from whoredom,'' Artemia is an unusual and intriguing creation by a veteran English novelist ( The Woman in the Cloak ). She sustains a secret, satisfying world, even as she is battered by the tragedies, mostly sexual, of family members, and by the social strictures of a time particularly repressive of women. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
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