The Widow of Oz

Kathryn Lasky Knight, Author W. W. Norton & Company $17.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-393-02669-6
Many of the characters in this thoughtful, appealing novel by the author of Trace Elements spend their time worrying that they are, or appear to be, weird. Instead, they are ordinary in a privileged way. Named after the heroine of the Wizard of Oz and given a dog named Toto, Dorothy has ``never been entirely comfortable'' about being identified with her fictional counterpart, to whom things seem to happen in a random manner. Marriage to a cardiologist involved her in another role, that of perfect wife and nurturer of two super-achieving children. Now, suddenly widowed at age 52 (ironically, her husband dropped dead while jogging), Dorothy finds herself for the first time acting in a drama for which she has no script. Her coping strategies, which include a correspondence with her son's primatologist girlfriend, are engaging for the most part, though the story drifts a bit when Dorothy moves to an island off Maine. Yet the ending works nicely, with Dorothy, caught alone in a fog at sea, coming fully to terms with a loss that she refuses to let overwhelm her. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Genre: Fiction
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