The Past Is Another Country

Lois Battle, Author Viking Books $19.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-670-82576-9
Her fifth book (after War Brides ) should confirm Battle as an outstanding practitioner of the kind of old-fashioned, well-crafted novel that rewards readers with rich details and an absorbing story. This poignant exploration of women's needs, goals and choices resonates with insightful implications about women's roles in modern society. Bursting with vitality (symbolized by her unruly red hair), Megan Hanlon is an up-and-coming filmmaker returning to her Australian homeland on business. She encounters her former convent school classmate Greta Papandreou, now a meek homemaker dependent on her unfaithful husband. As much as Megan desires self-validation and Greta is desperate for security, Joan (formerly Sister Mary Magdalene) a nun still teaching at the convent school, dreams of independence from the institution that has fiercely constrained her mind and body. Forced to make life-altering decisions regarding careers and loved ones, all three examine their ties with the past and their Catholic heritage. Battle's quietly heroic characters are beautifully believable, and her evocation of her native Australia adds an estimable dimension to an engrossing novel. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate. (Aug . )
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Hardcover - 626 pages - 978-1-56054-097-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-22117-4
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