THE WEALDWIFE'S TALE by Paul Hazel

THE WEALDWIFE'S TALE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Hazel's latest takes him back to West Redding, the setting of his inventive ``Finn Trilogy'' (Yearwood, 1980; Undersea, 1982; Winterking, 1985). In a castle overlooking a strange wood known as the Weald lives the widowed Duke Waldo, with four children, numerous retainers, and a brollachan--an animated plant that wears an abandoned overcoat and speaks enigmatically. Convinced that his wife is somewhere in the Weald, the Duke intends to fly over its treetops on a pair of feathered wings he's built with his own hands, find her, and bring her back. To his children's surprise, the Duke makes the flight and returns with his new bride, Elva--who bears the same name as his daughter. In the process, the narrative line all but disappears in an elaborate interplay of ambiguous chronology, hallucinatory shifts of perspective, and events that veer between the surrealistic and allegorical. In the meantime, Hazel's prose varies from folk-like simplicity to multilayered allusion. Hazel's fans will undoubtedly find all this much to their liking; those who prefer a clear-cut plot are more apt to find it annoying.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-688-12188-8
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993