Revealing Angel

Julia MacLean, Author, Joel Redon, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (309p) ISBN 978-0-312-05874-6
It's 1905 at the beginning of this old-fashioned and stiffly told tale (based on the life of one of the author's ancestors), and innocent Neoma Matthews has just courageously ventured from her country town to Portland, Ore., hoping to find work and happiness. Since her mother's death nine years before, Neoma has taken care of her needy father, sublimating her urge for a more complete life by playing her violin and reading old family letters. In Portland, Neoma settles in at a women's hotel and makes her first friend, Birdie, whose gaudy bravado in searching for a husband masks insecurity and pain. Neoma gets a job with a kindly but eccentric seamstress and meets Adam, a handsome young man who, though well-intentioned, is not quite as nice as he appears. It's a summer of tremendous growth for both young women, whose lives are defined and changed forever, and Redon ( Bloodstream ) sets these adventures against the bustle of the 1905 World's Fair. But numerous heavy-handed passages telling exactly what characters are feeling fail to involve the reader. Though good-hearted, Neoma's story is ultimately anemic and dated. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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