THE ROSES IN IRON by William Bryant


Email this review


Roses, a hothouse bloom, potted in an elegant jardiniere and perfumed with a strong scent of corruption, is a sometimes indecipherable (well, first year Spanish would help) and insinuating first novel. Also a campy diabolique with a slur of contempt and a suggestion of homoerotic viciousness. It takes place in Mexico and in it you will meet Mrs. Condit who serves tea every afternoon along with startling aphorisms: love is a verb that doesn't take an object. And her putative niece, Alpha, convent raised after her Baron (?) father disappeared; and Alpha's intended Ricardo, Europe and Harvard educated, who runs a lucrative mine, keeps two mistresses, and now appropriates the Condits' Indian boy, Jaime, for various household duties and pleasures. During the time here, just before Alpha and Ricardo's proposed marriage, the ladies take a retreat--to a convent--to which Ricardo follows them to confirm the unsettling suspicions raised by one of his mistresses and involving all of his ladies....A sybilline slow tease, ornamental, civilized, decadent, enigmatic, and hermetically sealed off--from life.

Pub Date: Aug. 31st, 1967
Publisher: McGraw-Hill