Sandman's Dust

Melvin Jules Bukiet, Author Arbor House $15.95 (234p) ISBN 978-0-87795-731-7
The circus that comes to Norma, N.J., (pop. 506) one summer's day in 1941 will, in the conventions governing fiction, bring with it labyrinthine mysteries and manifold secrets and will leave no life unchanged. Theodora Walsh and Lenore Bloom, both born on the same day decades earlier, are sisters-in-law. A ""born victim,'' the narcoleptic Lenore has lain inert for years. Her wild, despotic brother Jethro vanished long ago under sinister circumstances. Their kind, decent brother Dexter, married to Theodora, is the father of lovely, spirited adolescent Lilly, around whom much of the action revolves. She is a plausible, attractive heroine, and this at first seems a moderately compelling tale of small-town conflcts, of the nature of illusion and fantasy, told in a pleasantly quirky prose heightened by touches of the grotesque. But Bukiet's heavy-handed symbolism threatens to undermine the narrative, and his tendency to explain and elucidate in a dull, discursive vein often causes the tale to lose momentum and all but come to a full stop. January 6
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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