POSSESSED by C. A. Winstone

POSSESSED

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A dull, unconvincing, amateurish hodgepodge of hocus-pocus clich‚s. During a s‚ance one October evening in Britain's Cotswold Hills, a visiting American lady is overcome by a bestial vision, while a skeptical British girl at the same table begins hearing a centuries-old voice speaking privately to her. Are these women out of their minds? The married American, Madeline Sheaffer, deteriorates rapidly, despite the help of an overbearing psychiatrist who tries to manipulate her life so that she is relieved of an adulterous affair she's involved in. Is she perhaps reliving an old agony that will not die, the burning at the stake of the witch Margaret Read who died in 1590? Or is her young paramour, the artist Aris, some kind of con-man or blackmailer? When Madeline's visions at last get the best of her, she falls from a church window onto a crucifix and is killed. Then her husband begins hearing her speak to him on the telephone, though he alone can hear her ringings. Meanwhile, the British girl Kathy is not only invaded by the voice of Sushanna Peale but also begins to reenact Sushanna's lamentable history as a failed mother of Christ; it seems that every 400 years, Christ attempts to be born again, but the powers of evil successfully block the Second Coming. Kathy breaks down and, as Susharma, blows up a girlfriend who is helping her. Eventually, she dies when an otherworldly monk walks out of the night to collect her spirit. Too tired to be borne, despite the author's clumsy enthusiasm.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1979
Publisher: St. Martin's