Miracles in America

Shelia Kohler, Author, Sheila Kohler, Author Alfred A. Knopf $18.95 (175p) ISBN 978-0-394-57374-8
This curious collection by the author of The Perfect Place offers 12 imaginative stories, set mainly in Europe, whose intriguing openings are as promising as their inconclusive endings are disappointing. Typically, Kohler's carefully constructed scenes interweave recurring characters and settings, and describe marriages, children and a plethora of unnamed characters who are marked by an air of dark mystery. Whether describing a young couple too engrossed in intellectual pursuits to notice that their child is deaf, a mother who locks her naughty daughter in the bathroom and cannot retrieve her, or another who goes drinking and dancing with her husband's mistress, Kohler--as if playing games with the reader--withholds vital information that would allow her stories to make sense. Her characters hint at what they might have thought or noticed rather than offering facts; they play with clues whose significance is never yielded to the reader and covertly fathom critical secrets (never fully disclosed). Those who enjoy Kohler's lush descriptions and graceful prose will feel seduced--yet remain unfulfilled. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
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