HE MANTIS AND THE MOTH by Max eatherly


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From the time when, almost on the first page of this first novel, Maria says to her younger brother and acolyte Enoch, ""Maybe we shouldn't have tried the cemetery. Maybe we would have found another place for Emanuel to rest,"" the reader is almost committed to determine what other bodies are modlering in the grave. And so he will, even if he will not altogether understand (viz. believe) some of the unnatural history of this inverted southern family where Enoch's name- meaning dedication- was given him as an obligation to protect Maria, ten years older. As Enoch writes this story down with a quill pen (the time is the '20's), memories filter through along with some elliptical episodes: Maria's attempt to take her mother's place with their father; her willful domination of the household; her ""mishap"" when she is sent away on a trip; their father's death; and then the still undiscovered Eugene, Eustace, under the lemon lilies in the garden, and finally Emanuel...Maria doesn't quite get away with it--- but neither does Mr. Weatherley.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1964
Publisher: oughton Mifflin