Isabelle Holland

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Nora E. Taylor

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 156

Isabelle Holland has moved into the field of the Gothic novel with somewhat gingerly tread. No screams of horror in ["Kilgaren"]; just muted moues of apprehension. For all of that, she has written a rippling story that unfolds skin after onionskin of the unexpected, until the core is reached. It is worth the peeling.

Miss Holland, as a novelist of considerable experience, is accustomed to fleshing out her characters until they become as real as relatives to the reader. And giving substance to her settings until they seem equally familiar.

She has done this with Barbara Kilgaren of Four Winds; with the West Indian island, Kilgaren itself; and to a lesser extent perhaps with Barbara's half-brother, Jonathan Kilgaren.

It all adds up to a tangled tale of torment.

Nora E. Taylor, "Escapism," in The Christian Science Monitor (reprinted by permission from The Christian Science Monitor; © 1974 The Christian Science Publishing Society; all rights reserved), June 12, 1974, p. F5.

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