THE SILENT WOMAN by Edward Marston


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 Lord Westfield's Men, an Elizabethan-era theater company, has had its share of troubles in The Nine Giants (1991) and other titles, but none more severe than it faces here. An onstage fire prompts eviction by their choleric London landlord, and the players are forced to take to the rough and dangerous road. Able stage manager Nicholas Bracewood is beset by personal problems as well: A young woman bringing a message from his unhappy past dies of poison on his doorstep, and his refusal to talk about that past turns his widowed mistress against him. As Westfield's Men makes its beleaguered way across England, Nicholas escapes an assassin and reaches his hometown of Barnstaple, where he confronts his past, helps right an old wrong, and tries to decide his future. Marston crams his story with myriad plots and subplots, as well as vivid historical detail, to create a dense mixture that's too much of a good thing. Less would surely be more in this overstuffed outing, still fascinating but outclassed by the author's best. (Author tour)

Pub Date: May 16th, 1994
ISBN: 0-312-11115-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1994


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