Linda Chandler Munson, Author Longstreet Press $18.95 (234p) ISBN 978-1-56352-045-7
Munson ( Heat Storm ) disappoints with this murky, muddled picture of a harsh rural mountain region during the 1930s. When 13-year-old Annie's mother dies in childbirth, the family as well as the neighbors blame Annie, although her older brother Claude is responsible. In the ensuing torrent of conflicts and changes, Annie must take care of her retarded four-year-old brother, fight off Claude's incestuous advances and overcome her father's antipathy for his children. But then her father's friend, the elderly, strange, frightening Miss Mercer, encourages Annie to develop her gift of second sight, and Annie also is drawn to the kind new boy in town, J.C. The novel also identifies past events that have shaped Annie--the genesis of her father's bitterness (a childhood in which he saw his lazy mother kill his philandering father) and her mother's affair, during which Annie was conceived. While striving for the powerful reading experience associated with top-flight mysticism-infused fiction, Munson's effort fizzles, distancing the reader through its indeterminate characterizations and cryptic prose. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1970
Release date: 01/01/1955
Genre: Fiction
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