Baileys Beads by Terry Wolverton

cover of the book Baileys BeadsBaileys Beads by Terry Wolverton
Genre: Fiction
Copyright Year: 1996
Published: 1996
Publisher: FSAndG
Format: Hardcover
Type: Electronic Format Available
No. of Pages: 185
No. In Series:
ISBN: 571198910
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As professional photographer Djuna Rifkin is trying to cope, while her female lover, Bryn Redding, remains in a coma after a car accident, she finds comfort and support in the unlikely figure of Bryn’s mother, Vera. Incorporating poems and stories-within-stories, Wolverton spins an emotional and melancholy tale of love and loss among three very different women. From Publishers Weekly After a car accident, Bryn Redding, a writer, lies comatose in a Los Angeles hospital as her mother, Vera, and her lover, Djuna, struggle to clarify their complex attachments to her. Interspersed with poems by Bryn and cleaved in the middle by Splinters, Bryn’s novel-within-the-novel? about her childhood abuse at the hands of her stepfather and a lesbian relationship in contemporary L. A. ? the narrative alternates between Vera’s and Djuna’s perspectives. What gradually emerges from these three points of view is a nuanced picture of each woman’s conflicting emotions. Vera, an overprotective Midwestern house mom, had never acknowledged the abuse of her daughter or Bryn’s alcoholism, suicide attempts or lifestyle choices. Djuna, a native Angeleno and photographer, had staked her future on her relationship with Bryn. As Vera and Djuna struggle over Bryn’s care and their hostility toward one another, they seek to come to terms with Bryn’s enigmatic persona and the prospect that she may never recover. Betraying a poet’s proclivity for metaphor (Wolverton’s collection, Black Slip, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award), the prose in this first novel can be overblown (Djuna spills into her car ‘like honey swirled from a spoon’). But as Bryn shows signs of awakening, the narrative gathers momentum, building to a conclusion as oddly comforting as a good cry or a rainy day. Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal In her latest novel, Wolverton (Black Slip, Clothespin Fever, 1992) examines the ripples that an unexpected, traumatic event has on friends and family. Bryn Redding slips into a coma following a car crash, throwing together her lover, Djuna, and her mother, Vera. It’s a most unharmonious relationship at the start, marked by skepticism and resentment and enough hissing and spitting to make two tomcats proud. But most of all it’s marked by the aloneness of the two women who, sadly, can’t occupy the same room at the same time for bedside vigils of Bryn. The format of this book upholds this separateness as private thoughts and anguish are recorded in chapters headed ‘Djuna’ and ‘Vera. ‘ The book has some compelling elements in it, especially in the plot twists and in Wolverton’s ability to pin down in print what loneliness feels like. Recommended for public libraries. ? Lisa S. Nussbaum, Euclid Pub. Lib. , Ohio Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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