WHITE HORSES by Alice Hoffman
Kirkus Star


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As in her recent novels, once again Hoffman lyrically probes a family legacy of rogue longings and dreamed consummations--but there's more here too: the convincing Demon-Lover imagery that energized Hoffman's powerful first novel, Property Of. As a child in New Mexico, Dina heard from her father of the ghostly ""Arias"": the night riders of the desert, roaming like wolves, fearless, ""partial to precious stones and cold blue loneliness."" (""Any man who tells you he wouldn't give his skin to be one of them is a liar. . . a woman who goes looking for them deserves every damn thing she gets."") But Dina's own man is merely a drifter who leaves after 20 years; and she learns, through the courtship of aging detective Bergen, that kindness and companionship are worth more than the dazzle of the Arias' ""blind courage and recklessness."" Dina's children, however--beautiful, fearless, fierce son Silver and dutiful, loving Teresa--are already imprisoned in myth: they surge toward the unattainable, flung together in one summer-drenched incestuous embrace. And after sex with Silver, Teresa, an ""Arias' woman,"" knows--like the heroine of Property Of--that she will ""follow him anywhere he wanted to go."" Silver is drawn to crime, drug dealing, ""something hotter than his own life""; with a rough desert honor, he marries a pregnant girlfriend. Dina will die of cancer, peaceful in Bergen's love. So Teresa sleeps around, hunting Silver, finding an exorcism only in one man: Silver's enemy Angel, who plans to kill him. But the pull remains too strong, and Silver brings Teresa into his home with the wife and child he despises; the lovers stalk one another, unite at last, are exposed. And only after a final escape odyssey will Teresa prove, through her own herculean strengths of body and will during a cleansing flood, that she can find her own future--and a love other than one she's been ""fated to."" A stunning mix of folk myth and starved contemporary lives--as Hoffman again displays a unique ability to dignify a certain brand of obsession (Billy the Kid in a Camero--made believable) and to dramatize the awakening of a slumbering consciousness.

Pub Date: March 31st, 1982
ISBN: 0425170500
Publisher: Putnam