THE TROW-WIFE'S TREASURE by Olivier Dunrea

THE TROW-WIFE'S TREASURE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dunrea (The Tale of Hilda Louise, 1996, etc,), in a mode more vague than subtle, tells of kindness magically rewarded; outstanding art is matched to a confusing, unfinished plot Ever willing to help those in need, farmer Bracken Van Eyck pursues and finally catches a squat trow-wife's windblown bairn. Though he asks no reward, she gives him a black hen that, after a year-and-a-day's care, lays golden eggs. Dunrea's farmyard scenes combine exact, delicately brushed flowers and details with solid, gracefully posed figures, done in muted earth colors and placed along parallel red foreground lines; the effect is quiet and formal, with a touch of mystery. In the end, Van Eyck isn't changed by his wealth at all, except that he's able to be even more helpful, but readers are told--not shown--that, and in such an abbreviated way that few are likely to understand the benison. Lovely art, and an unusual insight, squandered by mediocre storytelling.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1998
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"