Lucid Stars

Andrea Barrett, Author, A Barrett, Author Delta $19 (340p) ISBN 978-0-440-55000-6
Delta Fiction's fine debut is marked by a quietly charming, seductive first novel whose author launches a career that promises to be as bright as the constellations that inform these pages. The dynamics of the modern broken home and the complex relationships engendered by divorce and remarriage are limned here with rare sensitivity and insight. The agile Barrett convincingly relates the story from the diverse perspectives of two mothers and two daughters. In her skilled hands, a 23-year time span is credible and the star motif never stales. Penny finds solace, self-affirmation and freedom in astronomy, and her strength and passion bolster her ex-husband Ben's second family, whom he eventually abandons for a third. Her daughter Cass, wounded and confused by her parents' divorce and her father's incapacity to love, knows that childhood is a cruel status: ``They're trapped in these small bodies, stuck in a land where the natives treat them as if they're deaf, blind, and crippled . . . . Her only refuge is that place inside her head where she retreats with her books and her projects.'' Although he links the other protagonists, the hypnotic Ben remains a deliberately vague character because he is a black hole``What goes into him goes in and is lost forever.'' Major ad/promo. (September)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 00/00/0000
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