Woman in the Wind

Pamela Townley, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (470p) ISBN 978-0-399-13271-1
Distinguished by unflagging narrative intensity as well as startlingly authentic evocations of time and place, this novel by the author of The Image portrays the genteel, exalted Redfields, mainstays of the English upper class, and an impoverished farm girl who dedicates herself to destroying them. In 1913, Dickie Bennett, whose family occupies a cottage on the Redfields' country estate, is raped by Rupert and Frederick Redfield. Frederick feels remorse; Rupert, a tyrannical young man bereft of restraint or sensitivity, dismisses the episode. Dickie finds solace in her son, Max, a product of the rape, and in the certainty that the Redfield brothers must suffer for their barbarity. While Rupert viciously consolidates his power in the Redfield household, Dickie becomes a stunt pilot in New York. Aware that revenge upon the rich can only be undertaken by those of equal wealth, Dickie and her husband gain affluence by establishing a lucrative airline. By 1929, they return to England, where tragedy awaits the Redfields and Dickie herself. Townley's lyrically expressed insights into human nature make the blustery confrontations and star-crossed love affairs that fill this story come alive. She effectively contrasts the English countryside's somnolence with the blazing emotions of its inhabitants. (July 13)
Reviewed on: 06/26/1987
Release date: 07/01/1987
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