The Lost Sister

Robert L. Taylor, Author Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill $17.95 (280p) ISBN 978-0-945575-10-8
A deep wash of melancholy colors this quiet, evocative novel set in Oklahoma City during the 1920s and '30s. In the years when Machine Gun Kelly roamed and Wiley Post flew around the world, Cora Mae's daddy runs a series of failing cafes named after his eldest daughter, Johnny. He and his wife raise three daughters and lose a baby boy, and all the while the Oklahoma dust buries their dreams and parches their spirit. Cora Mae, who labels herself ``a prisoner of love'' at 12 and marries Don Temple at 15, unhappily watches her handsome bootlegger husband drift away from her. Cora's sister, Johnny, all unconscious charm and wit, lands a slick looker in her second walk to the altar, but that marriage doesn't stick either. Although the characters are too detached from one another and the narration is occasionally heavy-handed, Taylor evokes a lonesome beauty into this tale of time and place. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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