SEVEN MOVES by Carol Anshaw


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 A pleasantly ambiguous psychological-suspense novel from Anshaw (the award-winning Aquamarine, 1991), who shows us once again that a good story can be told as much by what it holds back as by what it offers. When Christine Snow's girlfriend Taylor disappears without a trace one morning, Christine is at first reluctant to panic. This has more to do with Christine than with Taylor: Like all good psychotherapists, Christine has been trained to let problems reveal themselves slowly and with a minimum of overt speculation, and this emotional reticence will itself provide the best clue to Taylor's fate. ``Making love with women,'' Christine says, ``is the easiest thing for me to do with them. Everything else leaps so quickly into difficult and complicated.'' This attitude has assured her many friends but few mates over the years, and for a long time she pretends not to mind Taylor's absence. Eventually, though, she realizes that her independence is less complete than she imagines and, once she sees this, she takes on the task of finding Taylor. This finally carries Christine as far as Morocco, where Taylor had lived for some time under the influence of a strange religious visionary and the motley coterie that encircled her. Taylor's story, like all good mysteries, becomes murkier and more troubling as it proceeds, and Christine eventually discovers that she is looking for quite a different woman than the one she thought she knew--which, in turn, suggests that a similar reorientation of Christine's own personality may be in store. By the time we arrive at the last chapter, we find that the loose ends and ambiguities are beside the point, and it isn't troubling to find them unresolved. The real skill of Anshaw's narrative is that it makes the reader understand and appreciate Christine's changing perceptions at every stage of the action. Clever, well-crafted, and deft: Anshaw draws her characters with an unsparing hand that is guided by a remarkably sympathetic eye. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 1996
ISBN: 0-395-69131-1
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1996


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