SEASONS by Anna Dillon


Email this review


Irish-writer Dillon's first fiction--a historical romance embellishing events in turn-of-the-century Dublin, and leading up to the Easter Rising in 1916. The familiar paradigm offered here has young, innocent, and headstrong Katherine Lundy arriving in Dublin, cast into household service by her impoverished English family. She finds her attractions divided between Capt. Lewis, the charismatic but sinister master of the house whose clandestine work at the Post Office allows him to spy for the British; and Dermot Corcoran, a liberal journalist committed to a flee Ireland--liaisons that place her at the center of Dublin's political ferment. But, impregnated after her first encounter with Lewis, Katherine is later seen wandering lost and beaten through Dublin slums on an icy Christmas eve. After a leap of eight years and the birth of a son, she's transformed into "Madame Kitten," proprietor of Dublin's most exclusive bordello, and once again at the apex of Irish politics. Captain Lewis resurfaces, mired more than ever in his mysterious activities for the British government, but unaware of Katherine's new identity, as well as of his own wife's involvement with the Irish literary scene (vis-†-vis W.B. Yeats) and, eventually, with the Easter Rising. Meanwhile, Dermot tracks down Katherine, his love made stronger by the passage of time, and Katherine conceives her second child during a night of passionate lovemaking. Katherine's unique reproductive cycle, it seems, enables her to conceive two children during her first two sexual encounters eight years apart, then spend eight years of marriage childless. For Katherine eventually marries Dermot, but as he becomes increasingly involved in the revolutionary movement, she will find cause to betray him to Lewis. A picturesque rendering of discontent among irish literati and Dublin's underclass, with historical events taking a backseat to love, sex, and intrigue.

Pub Date: May 8th, 1989
ISBN: 312-02978-0
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: