From Publishers Weekly
Arbitrarily erratic characters and their antics leave this supernaturally charged Midwestern gothic as flat as its Kansas prairie setting. The story begins with promise as Eugenia Fairfax, returning to Fort Grant to lay to rest the ghosts of her childhood, winds up animating a closetful of skeletons. Eugenia's memories of her rearing in the Vandegrift Hall orphanage begin merging with nightmares of a century-old act of murder and betrayal carried out at the frontier fort where the orphanage is now housed. Meanwhile, next-door neighbor Rafael Chavez, a rehabilitated ex-con who has captured the grudging heart and willing body of Eugenia's daughter, Lena, endures the wrath of townspeople who can't forget the brutal murders he committed. First-time novelist Strayhorn intends Rafael's ordeal to reprise the local history of prejudice and injustice that Eugenia has uncovered, with the citizens of Fort Grant serving as reincarnations of their ancestors. But the author devotes energy to heating up Rafael and Lena's problematic romance that would have been better spent developing the tale's hints of vengeance. Lena is only one of several characters, moreover, whose moods and motives change to move the plot along. As the characters grow more unlikely and the implausible incidents pile up, what could have been an exciting dark fantasy of Bloody Kansas proves just a routine dispatch from the corn belt.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.