The Christ of the Butterflies

Ardythe Ashley, Author, A. Ashely, Author Ballantine Books $19 (288p) ISBN 978-0-345-37045-7
This work explores the ways life influences art and vice versa, but there is no life in these pages and more artifice than art. Each of the two related novels that comprise the work has a title page identifying the author as ``Bess Arden.'' The first story is related by Arden's protagonist, Mara, an author whose specialty is ``dark, slightly twisted, angry romances.'' One of those romances draws on Mara's own affair with a man named Aidan. Seven years after Aidan's death, his son James appears at Mara's home in Venice, hoping to learn about her and the father he hardly knew. James is obsessed with Mara's novel and with Mara; when a relationship develops between them, Mara decides to flee, going ``just far enough out of the novel so that James would not know where to look for her.'' The second ``Arden'' novel is the tale by Mara that captivated James; it recounts, in Aidan's voice, his affair with Mara. Unfortunately, like Aidan's observation that ``today would be yesterday's news tomorrow,'' this work as a whole demonstrates that though a statement is convoluted, it can still be banal. Ashley is the author, under a pseudonym, of Practice to Deceive. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Acrobat Ebook Reader - 978-0-7592-1909-0
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4976-2337-8
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