The Fortune Teller

Marsha Norman, Author Random House (NY) $18.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-394-55500-3
The energy and narrative drive in this first novel by the author of the Pulitzer Prizewinning play and movie, 'night, Mother, is relentless, so much so that the reader is not put off by its facile sentimentality and several preposterous plot elements. In fact, a willing suspension of disbelief takes over as the tension rises to an adroitly managed crescendo. The protagonist, Fay Morgan, is a psychic who often helps the police in her small East Coast town, where detective Arnie Campbell is her longtime lover. Fay's psychic powers are rendered with credibility, as she becomes involved in tracing 27 children kidnapped at a fair. She is distracted, however, by involuntary visions of the future in which she sees thatwithin the 24-hour span of the novelher 19-year-old daughter Lizzie will run off with an arrogant, selfish man and will be lost to her forever. Though Fay can see the future, she cannot prevent it, and her frustration is made palpable and moving. Less successful are other characterizations and some awkward plot contrivances. The book has a strongly feminist and prochoice bias and makes some valid points about the limits of love and the commitment of parenting. Despite its flaws, it has potential as a highly commercial novel. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild featured alternate; author tour. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-27284-0
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