City of Gates

Janice Elliott, Author Hodder & Stoughton $24.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-340-57115-6
In prolific English novelist Elliott's evocative, chatty and God-haunted tale, Jerusalem is an ``eternal damnfool city'' where past, present and future co-exist. Madame Eugenia Muna runs a guest house with her adoring platonic bedmate, Fedor, an amnesiac whose cafe cronies include a rabbi and a minor imam given to apocalyptic prophecies that seem to acquire legitimacy from Scud missile attacks and intifada violence. Muna, whose psychic gifts enable her to witness biblical events, entertains two new guests: Daisy Herbert, a sexually inexperienced English tourist, and Thomas Curtis, who's retracing the 17th-century pilgrimage of a devout ancestor in order to decide if he should become a monk, but who eventually exchanges divine for secular love with Daisy. A witty subplot involves Anglican Reverend Morgan Pooley, custodian of a dubious alternative site for Christ's crucifixion and tomb. In beautifully nuanced prose, Elliott ( The Sadness of Witches ) crafts a quirky, affirmative story pulsating with the troubled soul of the Holy City. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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