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The Diviner's TaleReview - The Diviner's Tale
A Novel
by Bradford Morrow
Blackstone Audio, 2010
Review by Christian Perring
Mar 29th 2011 (Volume 15, Issue 13)

Morrow's novel crosses genres: its central character, Cassandra Brooks, has visions which enable to see the future, and more mundanely, she is a diviner -- she can locate water in the ground by carrying a Y-shaped stick around and being open to its movements.  On a dowsing job one day she sees a teenaged girl in the woods, hanging dead from a tree.  Yet when she goes for the police and returns to the scene, there is no sign of the girl.  So there's a mystery from the start.  Who was the girl, and where did her body go?  Did she really exist, or was she just a figment of Cassandra's imagination?  All through the book there are supernatural themes.  Cassandra's father was also a dowser, although he now has Alzheimer's, and is gradually slipping away from his family.  Her sons keep her very busy, since she has no partner and her income is sporadic.  They are full of energy and she hopes that they do not share her supernatural powers, because her gift has not brought her pleasure.  Indeed, since the time as a girl she foresaw her older brother's death, it has brought her pain.  So the supernatural elements are secondary to the small town drama of a woman coming to terms with her past, her roles as daughter and mother, and dealing with the ways that her gift has made her a solitary person.  Morrow makes her a sympathetic character in the first person narrative, and the reader of the unabridged audiobook, Cassandra Campbell, does a wonderful job in bringing the text alive.

 

© 2011 Christian Perring        

  

Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York


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