Books by Evan Maxwell

SEASON OF THE SWAN by Evan Maxwell
Released: July 1, 1997

A few days in a small town turn around a sorrowful violinist's life, in another by-the-numbers tearjerker from Maxwell (All the Winters that Have Been, 1995, etc.). Manhattanite Kate Saarinan is on the verge of signing a million-dollar contract with a slick music-company executive who wants to market her, glitzy-style, as a mysterious ``Black Swan.'' But Kate has to interrupt negotiations to keep a promise. She has agreed to spend a week introducing the children of the tiny town of Langley, Washington (not far from where she grew up), to music. Kate, an orphan, hasn't been back home in over a decade, largely because, as a teenager, she became pregnant by a sleazy minister and is still haunted by the child she gave up. Arriving in town, she happens almost immediately upon Bran Corry, who's trying to save an injured swan; the next day, no sooner than she's rescued Bran from a near-accident, she realizes he's also the town violin-maker and a kindred soul. From then on, it's only a matter of time before the two are issuing passionate declarations, enjoying overwrought sex, and suffering through a dizzying succession of coincidences. Earlier, Kate had caught a glimpse of a lonely-looking teenage girl with whom she felt a strange bond; the girl, Alyssa, not only turns out to be the divorced Bran's adopted daughter and a talented Celtic fiddler, but, yes, Kate's own lost child. Kate visits her minister seducer, who proves to be not such a bad sort after all; he's on his deathbed and expires just hours after their conversation. Meanwhile, back in New York, complications arise with Kate's recording contract, resulting in a predictable last-minute choice between her agent's promises and Bran's love. Even die-hard romantics may balk at so contrived and vaguely creepy a plot, or at Kate's being allowed to find love only by jeopardizing her promising musical career. Read full book review >
Released: April 26, 1995

A Bridges of Madison County knockoff, from a former journalist who has co-written mysteries (Murder Hurts, 1993, etc.) with his wife under the name A.E. Maxwell. Ruggedly handsome Dane Corvin, veteran Fish and Wildlife Service agent, uses his leave to visit the Pacific Northwest, where his beloved uncle Dewey is dying. Dane reminisces about his last sustained trip to the region 20 years ago, when he was working undercover, investigating fish poaching in a neighboring Indian community. He'd been out to get the goods on a tough guy named Waldo when he met the guy's little sister, Helen, who announced on laying eyes on him: ``He is Wolf. I am Raven.'' Despite the deceptiveness of his ties to Waldo's community, Dane was truly smitten and allowed Helen to seduce him: ``There was only the moment, and they lived in it as fully as any two people ever had.'' A week later, Dane busted Waldo, and Helen wouldn't speak to him again. Dane spent the subsequent decades allergic to women, but now he's learned that Helen is a widow, a successful sculptor who's just sent her son off to Harvard; naturally, he looks her up and feels the old stirrings. She's initially frosty, because she's afraid he'll guess that he's the father of her beloved son. But then they share various forms of wholesome outdoorsy bonding- -chopping wood, giving each other chaste massages, cooking up hearty soups and multigrain breads. The requisite night of passion follows, with the predictable aftermath of confessions, anger, and, finally, forgiveness. Soft-focus themes—of decades-deferred sexual attraction, family as an antidote to mortality, and save-the-wolves eco- correctness—for the crowd who like their novels short, clichÇ- ridden, and bargain-basement poignant. Read full book review >