The Highly Flavoured Ladies

Patricia Angadi, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $19.95 (219p) ISBN 978-0-575-04001-4
The giant leap of faith required of readers of this latest work by the septuagenarian author of The Governess is made as well by heroine Mary Abrahams, virgin. She traverses the years between 1870 and 1970, first as the daughter of artist Aaron Abrahams, who throws his wife Annie and Mary herself out of the house, and, 100 years later, as Mary Stein, whose parents Sam and Clare are swingers separated amicably but forever. She flits back and forth through time, her two incarnations dovetailing neatly with the biblical Mary, whose Hebrew name is Miriam and who is frequently identified with Mary Magdalene. Mary Abrahams's special powers manifest themselves when she breathes life into a dead infant and when she flees, pregnant, disgraced, with the corpse of the consumptive prelate she adores. Two bodies are found later, but not a trace of Mary Abrahams. A century later, Mary Stein disappears, to return in a few days disoriented, pregnant and still a virgin. She fares better than did her predecessor, however, marrying a wealthy older man named Joseph, who understands her mission. The allegory is carried off lightly and the authenticity of the two eras established in proper Victorian parlance on the one hand and hip modern idiom on the other. (December)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
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