WALK WITH THE SICKLE MOON by Helen Norris

WALK WITH THE SICKLE MOON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A slight tale burdened with a suffocatingly self-conscious heroine and equally cloyingly self-aware prose. Laura Kendall, widowed and in her mid-40s, has come to Montreuil in France to find the child of Jamie, her son who Was killed in France during WW II. She believes that the child's mother was from the area. Laura reflects in lush prose on every action she takes from signing the hotel register to reading a guidebook. She really is painfully sappy, but she has a mission, and overcoming her sappiness--temporarily--drives out to the local orphanage to ask whether they can help. On the way she meets Dr. Duriez, a compelling but melancholy man who helps her with her car, and who more importantly can speak English (Laura has absolutely no French at all, which is surprising considering that she has been planning the trip for some time). Back at the hotel she befriends Mrs. Carstairs, also a widow, who fills her in on the local gossip and introduces her pupil, the blue-eyed seven-year-old Jean Duriez--who is not only the doctor's grandson, but turns out to be Jamie's son. Laura wants Jean, at least for a visit, but realizes that the doctor, who has lost most of one hand, will be all alone. After much introspection (and more purple prose), Laura accepts the doctor's solution to the dilemma. Mission accomplished, and an aging couple--although he is only 48--find happiness in their declining years. To give substance to an otherwise conventional romance, Norris (Water into Wine, The Christmas Wife) tries to make her characters deep-thinkers, her theme profound, and her prose laboriously exquisite. The weight sinks the already small craft.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1989
Publisher: Birch Lane/Carol Communications