by Elizabeth Lowell

ISBN: 1986 reissue
Reviewer Graphic Button William Morrow

This is another in the series of “re-worked” titles that publishers seem intent on selling to the public under the guise of a new bookcover from popular writers. This time, however, there is a small plaque on the front describing the contents as “A Classic Love Story” which tips the knowledgeable reader off as to the source. Thanks. I think.

Based on her 1986 book Sequel, this story tells the tale of cave researcher Joy Anderson and talented travel writer Gabriel Venture. Unfortunately, the whole story is based on “The Big Misunderstanding”. Yes, seven years have passed since Gabe and Joy did the deed, and a series of mis-communications have left them both hurt, scarred and angry at the other one.

These are great characters and the plot is classic Elizabeth Lowell, but I have to admit I’m not sure if this story is improved by this “re-working”. There are endless sections of recriminations, pages of agonizing, and even more in-depth descriptions of the beauties of caves. Now, I’m sure caves are nice, and I always enjoy learning a little something from Elizabeth Lowell’s stories (jewelry and Donovans, anyone?), but this goes overboard with its endless rappelling, crawling down into dark places and stalagmites.

I felt for both Gabe and Joy as they tried to put the past behind them and work towards some kind of future, but it just went on too darn long. Seldom do I want to crack a couple of heads together in an Elizabeth Lowell book, but I did in this one. The last one I stumbled across, Eden Burning, was magnificent, and held me spellbound. This one, sad to say, missed the boat. It’s a nice read, but I think probably the original, shorter, tale would be a better bet. Too much suffering doesn’t help the romance and a caver's lantern didn't help shed much light on the gloom.

Reviewed in March 2003 by Celia.

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