Heart's Desires
Book List Booklist, 1/15/91

This is the sensitive and often sensuous story of a young girl's tumultuous childhood in the 1950s and its inevitable impact on her life. The fact that she comes from a broken home, compounded by frequent moves every time her mother ends an affair, is only the beginning of the brutality of her childhood. While the formula sounds a bit trite, Marlowe's writing and imagination render the trials of a woman trying to avoid her mother's mistakes, failing miserably, and losing her own identity in the process, a pleasure to read. The characters and their relationships to one another are palpable, and the charming Alyssa endears herself to the reader as she muddles through relationships trying to rationalize her feelings and make something special of her life. ***

Library Journal, January 1991

In her mid-30s and married with children, Aly struggles to overcome the fears and misplaced guilt resulting from the trauma of finding her mother and brother murdered when she was ten. The youthful voices of Aly and her brother, Cliff, ring with an intelligence reminiscent of J. D. Salinger's precocious latchkey children. A few overwritten passages and some stock characters and situations calculated to raise specific reader responses mar the work slightly. On the whole, however, the author is adept at creating tension and avoiding the dangers of sensationalism that makes this, her literary debut, a real page turner. ***

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