Mist and the Magic

Susan Wiggs, Author HarperPrism $5.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-06-108051-7
This tale of Connaught in the mid 17th century would have made for an interesting story had not Wiggs ( The Lily and the Leopard ) clogged the narrative with a surfeit of subplots and some dreadful dialogue. Having stayed royalist John Wesley Hawkins's execution--and kidnapped his young natural daughter--Oliver Cromwell convinces this Catholic bounty hunter to travel to Ireland and find the head of a warrior society terrorizing his Roundheads. As fiction would have it, the rebel leader is Caitlin MacBride, mistress of Clonmuir and, before long, Wesley's captor. Wesley turns out to be not only a model prisoner, a one-time novice in a clergy-less Catholic community, an expert horseman and fluent Gaelic speaker, but he's also an all-around sensitive guy, able to see that Caitlin is a woman who needs some manliness in her life, who needs ``to be touched'' and whose defense of her manse is ``a tragedy,'' as it has forced her to bury her femininity. The only thing that's wrong with Caitlin is that she would buy such blarney as ``Look, I can't woo you with poetry. I can't overwhelm you with my virility. Good God, what must I do to win you?'' ( Jan.)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
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