Filled with her trademark spiritual and emotional healing, this story of sugary Sturm and romantic Drang is set on the coast of 19th-century Maine. When an anonymous young woman throws herself off a cliff, battering her skull and making her face an unrecognizable mess, a frightened fisherman takes her to Lethe House, where tormented young doctor Ian Carrick looks after a pack of loonies and writes scholarly papers on septicemia. Ian, formerly a celebrated Manhattan surgeon, had been shot by a jealous husband and, after a light-filled near-death experience, he was cursed with second sight allowing him to feel the psychic pain of anyone he touches. The great thing about the young cliff-jumper, whom Ian names Selena, is that when he touches her he doesn't feel anything but growing passion. He believes that healing Selena will restore his illustrious reputation, while Selena comes to realize that Ian needs just as much spiritual rescuing as she needed medical care. Though she has lost all her memory, she quickly makes a family of the odd band of wounded humanity in Ian's care, including his mad mother Maeve. The lovers would live happily and unorthodoxly ever after if Selena were not already married (though celibately) to a Shaker and must return to the orthodox religious community until she can't take the strict rules anymore. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/25/1995 Release date: 09/01/1995 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.