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1 Siddons, Anne Rivers FAULT LINES
HarperTorch 1996 0061093343 / 9780061093340 Paperback Very Good 
Her 11th novel (after Downtown) finds Siddons squarely back on track with a n immensely readable narrative that's been trimmed of excesses and?except f or the ending?unnecessary melodrama. In fact, even the symbolism here is le an and explicit: Merritt Fowler is at the end of her emotional tether and a bout to crack; then the earth does, in an earthquake that imperils her and three people she loves. The fault lines in Merritt's character are common t o women, Siddons implies. Since her mother's death when she was 13, Merritt has been a willing caretaker for members of her family: first her younger sister, "fragile, lovely, hungry" Laura, now 38 and still a would-be actres s; then her husband Pom, a doctor dedicated to the patients in his Atlanta clinics but demanding and dictatorial at home; then Pom's Alzheimer's-demen ted mother, Mommee. Merritt knows she's shortchanging her 16-year-old daugh ter, Glynn, who has survived one bout with anorexia but is again close to d espair because she feels neglected by her father. When Glynn runs away to h er aunt Laura in California, Merritt follows to bring her home but is caugh t up in circumstances that will forever change the lives of all three women . If Siddons initially makes Merritt a bit too perfect, selfless and saintl y, she nicely traces the flowering of her heroine's self-image during sever al crises and a bittersweet love affair. Settings are authentically rendere d, from Atlanta's upper-crust social milieu to Hollywood's tawdry glitz and the serene beauty of the redwood country near Santa Cruz. Neatly alternati ng earthquake lore with steamy sex scenes, Siddons manages her absorbing, i. 
Price: 300.00 JPY
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