TANGLES by Marie-Louise Wallin


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Adolescent Ingmar Bergman--or is it the Swedish climate of turbulence and calm, the outward reserve and fragile core? Ingeborg is remembering the year she was fourteen, when everybody's friend Anna rechristened her Fritjof (after a Viking hero whose rosebud-breasted sweetheart was lngeborg), when Anna taught her to ride Crux, singling her out from the others--and lngeborg's journalist mother, secret instigator of the lessons, presented her with a castoff Arab stallion, renamed by Anna Tangles. For diffident, self-deprecating Ingeborg, Tangles' advent is a watershed. The two horses become fond stablemates and fight outdoors (when Tangles tries to mount Crux: ""Your crazy little horse is probably a homosexual""); the two girls, sharing their care and training, draw close--until Anna teasingly seizes Ingeborg's diary and reads her confession of love. But Ingeborg's shame and hysteria presage a discovery that--aided by Anna's contrition--makes them ""more open and sensitive to each other."" They will lie loving and unaffectedly in each others' arms and, simultaneously, admit outsiders to their companionship--boys, significantly, too. The latter part has its troughs (Tangles' brush with death is blatant wire-pulling) but where the plot-structure falters, the horses provide ample pleasure and amusement. This is no Equus; these are real girls and real horses in a natural world of tenderness, longing, joy, resignation. When Anna's family moves, Crux has to be lured into the van by Tangles; but, says Ingeborg, ""I never cried for Anna again.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Delacorte