cover image Nowle's Passing

Nowle's Passing

Edith Forbes. Seal Press (CA), $21.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-878067-72-2

Returning to her Vermont hometown, self-doubting grad-school dropout Vincie Nowle probes the suspicious circumstances of her father's apparent suicide even as she faces up to her disintegrating marriage.While Forbes's gracefully written second novel (after Alma Rose) has elements of a murder mystery, its real drama lies in the way the author creates complex characters, and in how she meticulously dissects and charts the chambers of the human heart. Both of Vincie's brothers--smooth-talking Chad, a millionaire marketing consultant, and stoic Darrell, a biology teacher--are suspects in the death. As the truth about their father's passing emerges, the three siblings vent pent-up resentments, anger, secrets, jealousies and misunderstandings. Vincie's consequent emotional liberation helps her to break free of her insufferable husband, a snobbish, condescending and cruel professor of literature. Here, as in Alma Rose, Forbes employs exquisitely precise language to tell a hopeful story of one woman's emergence from a self-made cocoon. Author tour. (Mar.)