Sunday, May 14, 2006

Publishers Weekly Review Retelling

From Publishers Weekly
The mystery of who butchered ethereally beautiful and pregnant Elsbeth is at the heart of Keller's elegant and spooky second novel (part of a trilogy, after Jackpot). Was it the traumatized and fragile narrator, Sally, whose friendship with the dead woman verged on the obsessive? Or was it Elsbeth's arrogant and demanding boyfriend, Drew, who resented Sally's relationship with her? Keller flirts with the answer as her novel slips back and forth through time to depict tantalizing glimpses of possible truths filtered through Sally's uncertain memories. As her emotions unravel, Sally finds solace in the gentlemen who play chess in the park where she breakfasts, and maintains, however fitfully, an uneasy reliance on Lydia, a self-centered and mean-spirited friend who thinks Sally is better off with Elsbeth dead. The police, bent on extracting a confession from Sally, harangue her during increasingly abusive interrogation sessions that provide her a forum for creepily pondering her (questionable) innocence. This opaque yet beguiling novel showcases the work of a talented and original writer. (July)

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