Five Star, Nov 2003, 25.95, 232 pp.
When Marie Louise was eight her uncle Rex was incarcerated for manslaughter having murdered her Uncle Royal. When she was thirteen, the family matriarch Grandmere gives her, as the only female of that generation, the Snodgrass Girdle, a chastity belt so she can serve as the sacred “keeper of the seed”. When Marie turned eighteen, someone strangles Aunt Victoria, but no one is convicted of the crime. At twenty, she watches Grandmere suffer an incapacitating stroke.
As an adult Marie becomes a movie star, while others in her family die including Cousins Edward and Charles. Marie Louise is set to become the family matriarch skipping past her mother and aunts. However, would she use murder to achieve her objective, a lesson she learned at eight years old or is this bad luck as the number of her rivals shrinks?
The plot provides a deep look at a wealthy family who seem like anachronisms in late twentieth century America.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner