Bitterroot Landing

Sheri Reynolds, Author Putnam Publishing Group $19.95 (239p) ISBN 978-0-399-13994-9
Reynold's first novel is an original, lyrically written tale about an incest survivor's recovery. By age 21, Jael has experienced the loss of her guardian, whom she accidentally killed 10 years earlier; sexual abuse by the man who subsequently adopted her; and abandonment by another in the swampy, Southern backwoods setting. Educated by her guardian and on her own, Jael is utterly unprepared for the wider world she finally enters. A social worker, a survivor's group and the inhabitants of a local church community ease her move into society and her gradual understanding of what has happened to her. Reynolds makes minimal use of the psychological jargon of victimization; Jael, quirky and dead sure of her instincts, is a beautifully realized character. The novel's suggestion of an almost mythic female spiritual power, and the abundance of religious imagery, including the presence in the village of the Madonna, is occasionally tiresome, and the male characters are not as fleshed-out as the female ones. Still, Reynolds aims high and just about hits the bull's-eye, displaying a self-assurance and a taste for moral and social issues that make her debut a most welcome one. Literary Guild alternate. (Jan.) Mystery
Reviewed on: 11/28/1994
Release date: 12/01/1994
Mass Market Paperbound - 271 pages - 978-0-425-15044-3
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-425-16246-0
Paperback - 978-0-425-15113-6
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