Lady of Hay

Barbara Erskine, Author Delacorte Press $17.95 (545p) ISBN 978-0-385-29539-0
Erskine's first novel gets off to a fine start. As a participant in a college research project on hypnotic regression, Jo Clifford is almost too good a subject. Under hypnosis, she relives the final, tortured moments in the life of Matilda, a 12th century Welshwoman. In the process, Jo herself comes close to death. The story then jumps 15 years. Jo, now a journalist researching regression, is again hypnotized and again regresses to Matilda's excitement-packed life. Unfortunately, the pace of the early pages is not maintained. The problem is not with Jo/Matilda, who are both well-drawn, or even with the whopping coincidences Jo encounters. What slows the narrative is the bevy of minor characters, Jo's acquaintances. They talk to her and about her, they try to help her and they conspire against her, all at the expense of the central plotline. This is still a good read, but it could have been better. Doubleday Book Club and Literary Guild alternate. (June 19)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-20005-5
Paperback - 848 pages - 978-0-00-725086-8
Paperback - 571 pages - 978-1-4022-4118-5
Paperback - 600 pages - 978-1-56649-160-0
Open Ebook - 592 pages - 978-1-4022-5467-3
Ebook - 587 pages - 978-1-4022-4123-9
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