The Light-Makers

Mary O'Donnell, Author Poolbeg Press $25.95 (193p) ISBN 978-1-85371-177-0
A kaleidescopic jumble of flashbacks dilutes the power of this first novel's moving scenes depicting a troubled marriage. Freelance photographer Hanna Troy, whose union with successful architect Sam Wright is foundering over their inability to conceive a child, becomes enraged when she discovers Sam is having an affair with his provocative young assistant. While waiting for a counselor at a women's crisis center, she searches her past for clues and comfort. Award-winning Irish poet and short story-writer O'Donnell ( Strong Pagans ) adroitly explores the dynamics of Hanna's eccentric, close-knit family and also excels at evoking a sense of place: a park in Dublin comes alive with street musicians and dancers; a marketplace in Alexandria, Egypt, glows with color and vitality. The Alexandrian scene, which hints at the possibility of a marital reconciliation, is a neatly encapsulated gem of detailed, articulate writing, unlike the confusing flashbacks. Unfortunately, Hanna's consistently sullen mood and the self-pitying whine of her first-person narration give the book an unpleasantly sour tone. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 193 pages - 978-1-85371-259-3
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