The Vigil

Clay Reynolds, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (214p) ISBN 978-0-312-84639-8
This off-beat tale of an old woman waiting for 30 years on a park bench for her daughter to return is that rara avis, an unsolicited manuscript come to publication. Since we meet Imogene at the end of her self-imposed vigil and are led back to its beginning, there is little tension; since character development is minimal, there is little involvement. Stranded in a small Texas town when her car breaks down, Imogene gives her pretty, 18-year-old daughter Cora a nickel for ice cream and never sees her again. For months, the bench is her home and although hunger forces her to take a job, she manages to return to her post for long hours every day, filling the time by knitting. Never relinquishing hope, she enlists the aid of the sheriff, a widower who finds her appealing and makes a proposal which Imogene construes as a proposition. Because he has asked some sophisticated questions, he learns facts about Cora which her mother refuses to believe and in time uncovers the tragic reason for the girl's disappearance. Most readers, however, will have suspected something of the sort and may close the book puzzled rather than saddened by Imogene's tenacity. February 5
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-0-87074-269-9
Paperback - 221 pages - 978-0-89672-457-0
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