Limestone and Clay

Lesley Glaister, Author Atheneum Books $19 (185p) ISBN 978-0-689-12199-9
Motherhood, artistic creativity and the mysterious powers of the earth are among the weighty themes tackled in this affecting novel from English author Glaister ( Digging to Australia ). Nadia, a potter, lives with her spelunking boyfriend Simon in an unnamed English town. ``Darkly, strongly female'' though Nadia is, she has never been able to bring a pregnancy to term: memories of a recent, second-trimester miscarriage are overwhelmingly painful. Shortly before Nadia's baby would have been due, Simon thoughtlessly agrees to impregnate his former lover Celia, whose husband is sterile. Nadia is bruised when she hears that breezy, arrogant Celia is pregnant and furious when she discovers that Simon is the unborn child's father. Simon's infidelity proves to be the catalyst for the couple's parallel journeys of self-discovery: while Simon risks his life exploring an unmapped cave on his own, Nadia finds an unexpected way to play at motherhood. Sensational as this plot line may sound, it simply serves as a framework for a meditation on the relations between men and women. Vivid, sensual descriptions of daily life cleverly amplify the narrative's larger events: ``Something about the ordinary process of fishing the wet brown teabag out of the cup, the useless wodge leaking thick brown onto the silver surface of the draining-board, causes her to moan.'' Drawn with exceptional clarity, Glaister's complicated, fallible characters linger in the reader's mind. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/04/1994
Release date: 04/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 268 pages - 978-0-7862-0247-8
Open Ebook - 184 pages - 978-1-4719-1298-6
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