Ghost Note

Zena Collier, Author Grove/Atlantic $19.95 (210p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1513-3
The meager dramas and insights of a made-for-TV movie fill this inconsequential novel by the author of A Cooler Climate. Lois and Diane, 30-ish sisters, are going through their recently deceased mother's belongings when who should ring their doorbell but a stranger identifying himself as Charles Hazzard, their father, returning for the first time since he deserted the family just before his third child's birth. The two women initially resist his overtures, but their resentment gives way to a grudging respect for his uncanny rapport with their slightly retarded and distinctly volatile younger sister, Ella, and gradually they reevaluate their mother's version of their family history. As Charlie helps expand Ella's horizons, his presence also inspires Lois to test the limits of the dull marriage in which she has sought refuge; Diane, in contrast, becomes capable at last of commitment to a Prince Charming of a suitor. Characters and story lines rarely venture past the formulaic, and Collier's play-it-safe prose (``She saw it all now, clear as a landscape etched by lightning'') seems aimed at readers similarly uninterested in taking risks. Literary Guild alternate. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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