A Recent Martyr

Valerie Martin, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $16.95 (204p) ISBN 978-0-395-43613-4
Employing a plot as seemingly trite as: woman loves man; woman leaves man; life goes on, Martin (Set in Motion, Alexandra achieves a memorable novel, redolent with the tropical corruption that is so much a part of the charm of New Orleans. Beneath narrator Emma's description of her affair with Pascal and the self-discoveries it prompts, Martin bares the question of the individual's relationship with God. The affair is a painful one physically, and Emma's discovery of how it has corrupted her morally is paralleled by shocking events in the city: fuel shortages, municipal bankruptcy, garbage strikes, mysterious deaths of rats and humans. During the crisis, Claire D'Anjou, who has been sent home from her convent novitiate because she is ""too fervent,'' touches the lives of Pascal and his family, of Emma and her daughter, and of sundry citizens of New Orleans. Martin's proseclean, precise and to the pointgives much pleasure. Her skill and style lift what might otherwise be a trivial, sensationalist tale into a subtle, witty novel. (May 11)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-0-8071-2741-4
Paperback - 204 pages - 978-0-7538-2042-1
Paperback - 978-0-679-72158-1
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