Praying Mantis

Domini Taylor, Author Atheneum Books $17.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-689-12038-1
The latest domestic chiller from the author of Mother Love stars Victoria Courtenay, beautiful, charming and depraved. Raised in genteel English poverty following WW II, she decides early on that she deserves the best, finding a means to that end in Gerald Bramall, a happily married squire but no match for a will, or a body, like Victoria's. After his wife's suicide, Gerald marries Victoria, and his two nearly grown children step out of his life. Victoria gives birth to Lottie, whom she despises, and Rienzo, whom she indulges to excess. Lottie leaves home at age 16; Rienzo kills himself in a car crash; Gerald dies conveniently. As her self-absorption plumbs new psychotic depths, Victoria looks for another mate to father the perfect child she knows she is meant to produce. The man she catches is Lottie's boyfriend, and the complex events that follow comprise the main narrative of this overwrought, heavy-handed tale. The action is compressed into the final third of the book and important questions--such as why Taylor's men are such amiable weaklings--are left unanswered. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Paperback - 242 pages - 978-0-7551-0477-2
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