Ceremony of Innocence

Daranna Gidel, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (544p) ISBN 978-0-525-93348-9
Despite stereotypical supporting characters and a melodramatic ending, this hefty first novel, with its intertwining of three young people's lives, provides escapist entertainment. In the 1960s, Lucy Clare, poor, sensitive and artistic, grows up stifled in Walea, Tex., ``the buckle of the Bible Belt.'' Juliana Van Lyden, the pampered, lonely, neurotic heir to a New York dynasty, is raised under her grandfather's autocratic control. Her cousin, Ellis Fielding, is kidnapped by his disgruntled father at age 11 and forced to live the rugged life that his dad hopes will make him brutally macho. The narrative braids the strands of Lucy's awakening sense of self as an artist, of Juliana's perennial search for love and acceptance, and of Ellis's emergence from the wilderness to take charge of his family, overcoming the psychological intrigues and power games that support the Van Lyden facade. The three characters, now inextricably bound by the strongest ties of love and hatred, meet in the novel's late, overwrought climax and expected happy ending. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-0-525-93325-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 624 pages - 978-0-451-40322-3
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