Talking Book Club June 19
Published on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 11:07am
This romantic cliffhanger about a woman pursued by her ex-lover, a relentless stalker, seems sprung from today's headlines. Yet Alcott (1832-1888) wrote it more than a century and a quarter ago, in 1866 (two years before the appearance of Little Women), only to see it rejected it as ``too sensational'' by the magazine that had requested it. The novel has remained unpublished until now. Its heroine, the lonely, trusting 18-year-old Rosamond Vivian, who lives with her flinty, unloving grandfather on an English island, falls for the cynical, suave Phillip Tempest, who's nearly twice her age. He whisks her off to his Mediterranean villa near Nice, promising to marry her, but when she discovers that he is secretly married (and strongly suspects that he has murdered the son he never acknowledged), Rosamond flees to Paris, assuming a new identity. Phillip obsessively stalks her for two years, from France, where she seeks refuge in a convent and falls in love with a protective priest, to Germany, where Phillip has her committed to a lunatic asylum; eventually she flees to England. Alcott's portrayals of the pathological Phillip and of the conflicted Rosamondwho initially clings to her ex-lover, hoping to reform him until she realizes he is a murderous bruteshow strong psychological insights. This absorbing novel revises our image of a complex and, it is now clear, prescient writer. Publisher's Weekly Review.
Available from the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped collection as DB 41453 and from the DC Public Library Fiction collection in regular print.
The Talking Book Club meets the third Thursday of each month at 11 a.m. in Adaptive Services,Room 215 of the MLK Library. Brown bag lunches are welcome, coffee, tea and cold water provided. Call 727-2142 for more information.