Letting in the Light

Joan Lindau, Author, Joan Alden, Author Firebrand Books $8.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-932379-59-7
The use of a journal as framework for narrative is a faulty strategy in this novel about two women confronting their ambivalent love in the face of terminal illness. Though Thad and Franco had been college lovers (``I can still recall the smell of the paint baking on the radiator in our room, and I will always associate it with romance'') and continued their relationship on and off in ensuing years, they never shared their deepest feelings, fears, disappointments or insecurities. Years later, when the novel's action occurs, Franco informs Thad that she has Lou Gehrig's disease and invites Thad to spend Christmas with her. Saddened and overwhelmed by the news, Thad devotes herself to Franco during the visit; their reconciliation allows her to accept Franco's impending death. The emotional immediacy and intimacy that Lindau attempts in the journal are soon cloying, however; Thad reveals herself too self-consciously to engage us. Lindau's prose is adequate but unimaginative, her pacing satisfactory but not propulsive, her characters likable yet forgettable. Lindau wrote Mrs. Cooper's Boardinghouse. (June)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
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