Creature Comforts

Jessica Stirling, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-312-17163-6
Although it helps to have read her earlier historical novel, Treasures on Earth, this second volume in Stirling's proposed trilogy, set in rural Scotland of the last century, can stand on its own. The daughters of Gaddy Cochran, the indomitable drover's woman who was a central character in the first book, realize the haunting of their hardscrabble youth in tragically flawed marriages. Elspeth, the foundling raised by Gaddy, stifled in a mysteriously nonconsummated marriage with a wealthy weaver, and Anna, the sensual dairymaid wed to Matt of the upright Sinclair family, but lusting for the newly installed laird and landowner, are the focusas well as indirect precipitatorsof the havoc that descends on the tiny enclave. The complex plot, enhanced with the schemes of crafty rurals, kept in check by the honorable Sinclairs, is an arresting exploration of thwarted ambitions and damaged lives. Stirling vividly represents the ironclad societal structures of the period and the violence sprung from lust and injustice, as the stage is set for completion of the trilogy. (August 29)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1986
Release date: 08/01/1986
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-4386-6
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