SLAVES OF THE LAMP by Pamela Frankau


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This is the second part of Pamela Frankau's placid, pleasant tempered portrait of a period and a family, the Westons, and even though actor Philip Weston was center staged in the first volume, Sing for Your Supper (1964) it was easily discernible then that stubby, stubborn Thomas, the youngest of his three children, would dominate the trilogy. Time has moved ahead roughly ten years (to the late '30's); Philip, now in America, no longer appears; and this second part belongs to the three children; Gerald, also an actor, only minimally; Sarah, who has just lost the husband she married lovelessly, somewhat more; but primarily Thomas, 21, working for the advertising firm of Romney Butler. Thomas, who as a small boy had the gift of second sight, is attracted by the healers and soothsayers--""the slaves of the lamp""--and through his affair with Carola, the daughter of a healer and/or charlatan, Toyne, demonstrates once that he has the gift. Romney, whom orthodox medicine fails, turns to Toyne for help, before Toyne and Carola are accidentally killed; he becomes further involved with the Westons when he marries Sarah Weston, and later, his illness recurring, turns to Thomas to exercise his powers. This he does, partly out of pity but in doubt of his success, and Romney's suicide will implicate him further.... Mrs. Frankau's continuing works in progress, with its pre-arranged, criss-crossing lives and loves, its agreeable characters--particularly the disconcerting Thomas, its rather creamy texture, will appeal to her readers. Conservatives in particular will find it pleasurable.

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1965
Publisher: Random House