cover image Looking Glass Lives

Looking Glass Lives

Felice Picano. Alyson Books, $12.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-1-55583-481-4

""He tells me that we are bound to each other by bonds greater and more lasting than any he has known--immortal ties. And I--fool that I am--I believe him."" Immortal ties entangle lovers a century apart in Picano's (Like People in History) vaguely karmic, mercifully brief tale of love, betrayal and reincarnation. A Civil War-era love triangle between Amity Pritchard, her lover and her sister plays out to a deadly conclusion--and is then replayed in the present day when 30-year-old narrator Roger Lynch and his new wife, Karen, buy the old Pritchard house and Roger's childhood (and still childish) lover, Chas, shows up at the door, ready to wreak sexual havoc. Hampered by prose more suitable to YA romance than to adult fiction, the story lacks the emotional power of a good gothic romance, the suspense of a decent ghost story and the wit or grace to bridge the gap between the genres. Ten amateurish, coyly erotic illustrations do nothing to flesh out these wooden characters or their silly exploits d'outre tombe. Excerpted in Genre magazine; author tour. (Sept.)