Michael Stewart, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $18.95 (350p) ISBN 978-0-87113-305-2
High-tech medicine clashes with religion in a battle between the body and soul of a doomed English girl in this chilling suspense novel. Stewart's ( Monkeyshines ) strength is his wide knowledge of controversial scientific theories; his characters are overwhelmed by conflicting forces of modern life and primitive instincts of passion, greed and jealousy. Seventeen-year-old Grace begins to witness strange bursts of light and to receive visions of the Virgin Mary on the fifth anniversary of her brother's mysterious death. Her widowed mother and Dr. Leonard Grigson--a close family friend--are skeptical, while the local Catholic priest, Father Gregory, accuses her of sacrilege. However, when Grace cures a blind woman and miraculously conceives a child without a man, she is proclaimed to be blessed by God, and is hounded by journalists and religious fanatics. But as her visions take an ominous turn, and her baby, it appears, is a genetic freak, it seems as if the Devil, not God, is involved. Worse, Grace starts to develop the same symptoms her brother showed before his death. Racing to save her from this fate is Dr. Grigson, who also holds the key to Grace's visions. Though in general the author neatly resolves his subplots, the novel's ending is muddled and some conflicts are left unresolved; Grace's fate, especially, is unsatisfactory. Stewart's prose is often melodramatic, but the story's shocking twists and turns will keep readers glued to the page. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 400 pages - 978-0-06-100520-6
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