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Twenty years after their college graduation, six women meet on a tiny island in Puget Sound for an informal reunion. At the invitation of AIDS researcher Rachel Fineberg, all of them—Minnesota attorney Mary Sharon Andrews, foundation director Teddie Bannon, sexual harassment attorney Julie Patterson, San Francisco journalist Tyler Jones, and Grace Dworkin, who runs a Seattle temp agency—hunker down to talk about their feminist ideals, their lesbian affairs, their careers, and their enduring love for each other. The island is so isolated that there’s some cause for disquiet, especially since Tyler and her dog Agatha Christie already have a history of finding dead bodies (Silent Words, 1996, not reviewed). But although the corpse turns up on cue (it’s anti-environmentalist lumberman Jordan Blake, to whom no fewer than four of the six women improbably have some sort of tie that might serve as a motive for killing him), the murder does little more than simply refocus already ongoing arguments about child abuse, prostitution, and the need to maintain a radical feminist stance in a treacherously compromised world—arguments that are all, without exception, settled a lot more definitely than the mystery of who killed Jordan Blake. Not so much a whodunit, then, as a what-if-she-did-do-it, with the mystery used to dramatize debates whose outcome is never in doubt.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1998
ISBN: 1-883523-29-X
Page count: 224pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1998