FT-Roswell Legacy

Frances Patton Statham, Author Ballantine Books $7.95 (379p) ISBN 978-0-449-90250-9
In this sequel to The Roswell Women , set 25 years after the Civil War, unhappily married Dr. Charles ``Coin'' Forsyte learns that his first wife Allison has in fact survived their wartime separation, remarried and is now the loving mother of his daughter's fiance. Intricately plotted, involving ``live'' appearances of historical figures like President Grover Cleveland and events such as the Chicago Exposition and the Pullman uprising, and laden with detailmenus, cosmetics, costume, architecture and medical knowledge of the periodthe ambitious romance, nevertheless, falls flat. Statham's canvas is broad as she depicts interlocking financial, sexual and political scandals in Washington, possible and actual sibling incest, an emerging women's rights movement; young love and, in flashbacks, the suffering and dislocation endured by Coin and Allison at the close of the war. But nothing leavens the wooden dialogue and tedious description. The senator who says, `` `Spreadeagle me to the bed, Maddie, the Indian way. I want to be love-tortured tonight' '' is complemented by the young Jonathan telling his innocent Ginna, `` `You have unleashed a passion that will never be content again with a mere kiss,' '' and the several couples and their larger circle of family and friends never come to life. Would even an omniscient narrator of the time be likely to refer to a minor character as a ``social maven''? (September)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Genre: Fiction
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