Henry James' Midnight Song

Carol Hill, Author Poseidon Press $22.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-75575-1
Feminism, the nature of evil, the art of the novel, romance, psychoanalysis and anti-Semitism are among the topics tackled in this exuberant novel by the author of Let's Fall in Love . A series of women are murdered in fin de siecle Vienna, necessitating an investigation by famous French detective and bon vivant , Maurice Cheval LeBlanc. Among the players (and suspects) are the quintessentially American Mains; Mr. Main's sophisticated cousin, the Countess Bettina von Gerzl; Dr. Freud, whose wife and sister-in-law had, for a few minutes, sheltered a corpse in their parlor; Henry James, briefly Freud's patient; and Edith Wharton, under the spell of nascent eroticism, thanks to Morton Fullertan. Hill takes the reader on an exhilarating, kaleidoscopic tour of influential people and ideas at the turn of the century. She is perhaps too ambitious, however, stuffing the chronological parameters of her novel with more than they can rightfully claim. As the introduction by the fictional editor of this manuscript notes, ``although all of the events occurred between 1890 and 1910, the chronology is select and confused. . . '' If Hill's style often seems overly voluptuous (``black horses galloped, black angels in the night,'' or ``she was joyous now as her feet bounced up the stairs, thinking again she must share it with someone, she simply, simply must! ''), such florid writing actually nourishes her unabashedly romantic and sensual narrative. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-0-393-31229-4
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