Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Great Divorce by Valerie Martin

Under great pressure, people split in two. Which is their real self – the civilized half or the animal half?

Three stories, set in New Orleans, a wonderful setting as the paranormal can be incorporated without a moment’s hesitation. Reoccuring themes - Mothers and daughters, a black leopard. The vet with the perfect life and the philandering husband, the oppressed girl with the hectoring mother, the antebellum Creole woman a prisoner on the plantation. All three stories are very readable, although the crazy zoo attendant plot gets a bit ponderous. The vet stops herself from commiting murder – but the other two – well they are overwhelmed by their oppression, their civilized nature vanishing like smoke. A very thoughtful novel.

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