Title: The Sharp Teeth of Love
Publisher: Knopf 1999/99
Publication Date: 1999
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
Signed: Signed by Author(s)
Edition: First Edition.
Hardback Fiction 1st Ed. SIGNED Fine/Fine; 02525; Signed by Author(s); Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 2525
Synopsis: In the High Sierras, a man, a woman, and a boy, each in psychological or physical danger, come together in a dramatic, satisfying way. At the center is Luna Stone, a young woman on the way to California who dumps her self-absorbed boyfriend in Reno and hides out in the mountains near Donner Lake. While camping, she has two visitors, the ghost of Tamsen Donner and a very live runaway boy, escaped from a child porn ring. This is Doris Betts at the top of her form.
From Publishers Weekly:
In Betts's novels, women tend to run away. The selfish mother in Souls Raised from the Dead abandoned her family to find glamour and excitement, but the heroine of this new novel more resembles the memorable protagonist of Heading West, who took advantage of a kidnapping to escape from her suffocating family and hide out in the Grand Canyon. Here, the heroine is medical/botanical illustrator Luna Stone, who impulsively flees from the gorgeous botany professor who wants to marry her, having suddenly realized that she's fed up with his overbearing and mendacious personality. She leaves him in a Reno hotel (they are traveling from North Carolina to California) and lights out for the area in the Sierra Nevada around the Donner Pass and the Desolation Wilderness. Camping in the woods, Luna encounters young Sam, another runaway, who is hiding from men who operate a child-porn ring. They are joined by yet another loner, Paul Cowan, who had planned to become a Lutheran minister until an accident rendered him deaf. Herself the victim of a martinet father who destroyed her low self-esteem, Luna has survived anorexia and a stay in the psychiatric ward; her mental equilibrium is shaken when she is visited by the ghost of Tamsen Donner, a member of the infamous 1846 party of settlers. When the pornographers find Sam and kidnap him again, Luna and Paul brave danger in the wilderness to rescue the boy. Betts is at her best in calibrating those fine blades of anxiety that eventually can sunder a relationship and in describing the obverse condition, the tentative explorations that can result in the discovery of a soul mate. But this narrative bogs down in her attempts to make meaningful connections between the Donner Party, the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Tex., and numerous theological questions. While Betts's novels are always good reading, this one does not live up to the high standards of her previous works.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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