OUT FROM EDEN by Victoria Lincoln
Kirkus Star


Email this review


She writes like an angel but she has to be read to be believed. Any outline of plot sounds incredibly naive, and yet- as you read- the characters have a ring of truth, and the mad pattern of circumstances takes on reality. I think this is her best book since February Hill and while it lacks the earthy quality of that memorable novel, it has a fay quality that captures the imagination...The Davenports were a law unto themselves. Stephen was an artist -- but there were long periods of stagnation when he was angry at everything because he couldn't paint and he always thought another move might solve the problem. Jessica, his wife, was a puzzle to those who wondered at his marrying a beautiful ignoramus, but their love was all encompassing, though sometimes she wished he could be more like other people. She was the sole model for his nudes -- and for convenience she was accustomed to wear clothes or not as circumstances ordered. Her children accepted this- only Todd, with awakening adolescence, began to worry about the neighbors. Topay, like her mother in her beauty, her naivete, her innate wisdom, her ignorance, never gave it a thought. Into this Eden came Evan, another artist, almost immune to anything else. And Topay fell in love -- and terrified him by her precipitate attack. What happened when Jessica's birthday brought everything down about their unconscious heads takes genius such as Victoria Lincoln's to portray. It seemed such little things that precipitated the storm:-Jessica wanted a Bendix, and everyone but Stephen knew it- and he gave her a mirror instead. Rosen, his dealer, tried to compensate by giving her an exquisite pin- and Stephen for the first time was jealous. Topsy went too far in her campaign- and thought she'd lost Evan for good. And Todd, knowing that he cared more for Ellen, the girl next door, than he dared admit, knew full catastrophe when Ellen's Puritanical mother walked in on a scene even she could not call merely ""Bohemian"". A superb piece of emotional synthesis, which as I said above, has to be read to be believed.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1951
Publisher: Rinehart