THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY by Lois Battle

THE PAST IS ANOTHER COUNTRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

More exploratory surgery into the hearts of women, by the author of A Habit of Blood (1986), Southern Women (1984), etc. Here, Battle begins with a tender look at a group of teen-agers at a Catholic girls' school in western Australia--among them, the redheaded hurricane Meg Hanlon, who's living with her aunt and uncle until her mother and movie-star father can get themselves sorted out in America. Between swooning sessions with paperback romances, Meg latches onto Sister Mary Magdelene, who somehow doesn't belong at the convent. Next time Meg turns up, she (Meg) is an Oscar contender, in Australia again for the screening of a film she directed, where she bumps into two old loves: producer Victor Taub and Aussie surgeon Tasman Burke. Burke's wife turns out to be Meg's old St. Brigid's school-chum Greta, who's desperately trying to hang onto Tas, even though he's had numerous affairs since his hot liaison with Meg ten years earlier in New York. Meanwhile, Meg makes a visit to St. Brigid's and renews her friendship with the nun, who's now considering leaving the church to marry a middle-aged English professor. And then there's Toni, Meg's able assistant, fighting with her Italian husband and family over her right to a second career. In the end, all four women shift gears ever so slightly, while remaining true to themselves. And after winning her Oscar, Meg will take up with Tas again, since Greta finally lets him go. As usual, Battle's characters are happily unplasticized, but in this outing their traumas never cut too deep--and never command readers emotionally. So while this bears certain Battle trademarks, it's hardly her best.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1990
Publisher: Viking