The Deep Blue Sea

Fiona Bullen, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (465p) ISBN 978-0-312-07706-8
The author of To Catch the Sun here offers a flawed tale of star-crossed lovers in Brazil during the 1950s and '60s. Inseparable from their first meeting, as alike as two cubs from the same golden litter, first cousins John Campos de Serra and Eleanor Fawcett grow up together in her posh Rio de Janeiro home. Eleanor's beloved father hates John from the beginning, but the pair develop an intimacy as close as any twins'; their bond survives even a nightmarish visit to John's parents in the jungle. But as adulthood intervenes, it is shaken and tested against a backdrop of political upheaval. After finally consummating their forbidden love, they part: Eleanor marries a man who has adored her since childhood; John continues the fight he began as a student against Brazil's corrupt government, ultimately endangering them both. Bullen creates a feverishly colorful jungle sequence, but for the most part uses stilted language to clumsily relate a flat narrative. She explains rather than evokes her characters' emotions, which are generally two-dimensional in any case. This work might have been better titled The Shallow Pond . ( July )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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