By Sun and Candlelight

Susan Sallis, Author Crown Publishers $18.95 (376p) ISBN 978-0-517-58043-1
Pleasure-seekers who aren't fussy about plausibility might be momentarily diverted by this tale of four English friends, women bound in an increasingly intricate web of relationships. On V.E. Day, teenage Monica tells her best friend, Carol, not only that she is adopted but that she is now pregnant with the child of her adoptive brother--all this within four pages. Sallis's speeded-up soap opera makes a heroine of Carol, whose mother adopts Monica's baby; a glamorous but hard woman of Monica; and quasi-husband-swappers of their friends Liv and Myrtle. This willingness to share babies and husbands is presumably praiseworthy but is rendered as far less than lifelike. Meanwhile, tragedy strikes often and in suitably dramatic international settings. One member of the quartet is killed off early on; her death creates a gap in the narrative for which Sallis tries to compensate by forcing the survivors into even more strenuous contortions. Eventually she overwhelms the innate and genuine appeal of her own protagonists, who virtually cry out to be rescued from this exaggerated plot. British writer Sallis is the author of Summer Visitors and YA books. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-0-552-13545-0
Hardcover - 978-0-517-09202-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-4009-4
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4481-1094-0
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