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The Whiteness of Bones Paperback – September 16, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Returning to the Hawaiian setting of her highly praised first novel, My Old Sweetheart , Moore here evokes also the fashionably decadent milieu of the idle rich in 1980s Manhattan. Mamie Clarke grows up on the island of Kauai, desperately seeking the attention of her remote, "benignly distracted" mother. When she is 12, Mamie is sexually fondled by a trusted servant, a traumatizing event for which she feels she is to blame, and which leads her to despise her body and her femininity. Socially inexperienced and naive, at 21 she goes to New York to live with her scatty Aunt Alysse, one of a group of free-spending, indolent, vacuous, boozy and much-married womenall of them out to snare yet another man. Mamie is able to resist Alysse's meretricious values, but her younger sister Claire, who has reacted to their upbringing by becoming as irresponsible as Mamie is preternaturally guilty and responsible, eagerly enters into Alysse's sophisticated circle, where she falls prey to the drug culture. While Moore's spare but lyrical prose is compellingespecially when she describes the rhythms of island lifeher psychological portrait of Mamie eventually takes on an overwrought and rather hysterical tinge. Nonetheless, this is an engrossing novel, profoundly disturbing in its message of feminine guilt, yet satisfying in Mamie's eventual recognition of how to "purify" her soul.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In this coming-of-age novel by the author of My Old Sweetheart ( LJ 10/15/82), 20-year-old Mamie Clarke moves from Maui to New York, hoping to exorcize childhood ghosts that have left her emotionally numb. She achieves peace after a series of alternately amusing and sordid adventures with assorted urban cosmopolites. Unfortunately, few of the potentially interesting characters are fully realized; Moore's justly praised spare prose style here serves her ill as the dry vocalizations of an omniscient narrator. Repeatedly, the reader is told about rather than shown the characters' inner lives. When Mamie and her companions do speak for themselves, they command attention, as do vivid descriptions of Hawaii, but these moments are all too few. Not an essential purchase. Starr E. Smith, Georgetown Univ. Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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