Susanna Moore's novel is set in Hawaii whose shimmering beauty and meloncholy traditions are at once seductive and dangerously hard to leave. Or so they prove for Clio, a thirteen year-old runaway who is raised by her eccentric aunt Emma, a collector of legends, myths, and rites of their native island. Emma teaches Clio what it means to swim out of the currents of time, to exchange her small past for a grand one. But when that same past begins to take on a crushing weight, Clio on impulse marries a well-known Hollywood actor, providing her with the promise of escape from her family and the entanglements of island life.
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Like her much-acclaimed previous novels, Susanna Moore's Sleeping Beauties is set in Hawaii, whose shimmering beauty and melancholy traditions are both seductive and dangerously hard to leave. Or so they prove for Clio, who marries a well-known Hollywood actor--providing her with the promise of escape from the entanglements of island life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Once upon a time, a young girl, fleeing her wicked stepmother, runs away to live with her mysterious aunt and her blind grandmother and grows up to marry a handsome movie star. But, title notwithstanding, this is not part of any simple fairy tale--it's Moore's third novel, another lush and haunting Hawaiian lament. Clio Lynott, like Moore's earlier heroines--Lily in My Old Sweetheart (1982) and Mamie in The Whiteness of Bones (1989)--is a child cut adrift from her parents and deeply attuned to the mythology and exotic landscape of her homeland. In Clio's case, this affinity for all things Hawaiian is encouraged by her aunt Emma Fitzroy, who teaches her ``the long songs without rhyme called meles, the hulas and oral genealogies; the very history of her passing race.'' It is the weight of all this history that eventually causes Clio to escape into a loveless marriage with Tommy Haywood, a small-minded, big-time Hollywood star. For a while, Clio deceives herself, believing in happily ever after, but soon it becomes clear that not all Prince Charmings are created equal. Ultimately, though, it is Hawaii and all its history--her own history--that draws the aptly named Clio back home to stay with Emma and Mabel, her blind and ancient grandmother. As a heroine, Clio is sometimes a trifle wan, but her story is always vivid. Moore's writing, as ever, almost glows with tropical heat. The Hawaii we see here is enchanting, dangerous, and at the brink of being lost forever. Moore locates it permanently for us- -just midway between fever dream and fairy tale. (First printing of 35,000) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Trafalgar Square, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099289849