Isabelle Holland Diane A. Parente - Essay

Diane A. Parente

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

"Trelawny" is a novel for a summer afternoon, a winter evening. In the modern Gothic style, complete with a haunted family mansion, it provides a temporary diversion from life's weightier problems.

The plot is relatively intricate and laced with enough surprises to maintain a high level of reader interest throughout despite a lack of any distinctive literary style or flair on the part of the author. A strong principal character, Kit Trelawny, provides the cohesive force in the story as she struggles to come to grips with the past through a weird and often frightening series of current events. (pp. 382-83)

[The] story line is as twisting and full of zigs and zags as the architecture of Trelawny's Fell, the well-described setting for the mystery.

An interesting cast of characters, each portrayed as a readily definable, knowable individual, adds much to the book's readability. While supplying us with no deep insights into human nature, they nonetheless admirably act out the roles for which they were created.

Those who still seek diversion in the printed page rather than the NBC Mystery Movie will find in these pages intrigue, suspense, and a literary work equal to and occasionally surpassing that of the novellas in the better women's magazines. (p. 383)

Diane A. Parente, "'Trelawny'," in Best Sellers (copyright 1974, by the University of Scranton), Vol. 34, No. 17, December 1, 1974, pp. 382-83.