Heiress of a famous shipping magnate, Prima Powell suffers a blow to the head and wakes up on the river raft of Shaw Lawson. She doesnt remember the last two years of her life, during which the small community of Moonbow knew her as Naomi Romans, granddaughter of healer Hazel Annie. She doesnt want to become Naomi, but she also rejects her role as her fathers faceless and inept daughter.

In a world shes totally unfamiliar with, Prima clings to Shaw, but even he is a stranger. Gradually, she connects with the more meaningful aspects of her two years living with Shaw in the Tennessee hills as Naomi.

Shaw seeks resolution of his past too, especially the most painful and guilt-ridden events of his past. He isnt certain of Primas identity, but is strongly drawn to her; shes unsure of his motives, especially after it becomes evident that shes in real danger as a kidnapped heiress.

The light of the moonbow, a rainbow of the night that appears only near large falls and only rarely, promises to lead them out of the darkness and toward lifes true path. Both are vaguely dissatisfied with their identities so the promise appeals, but both must learn to accept who they are before true happiness can blossom.

Dia Hunter does a credible portrait of life in the Tennessee hills, although it doesnt clearly fit the era shes chosen. The love story appeals, but Hazel Annies idiosyncrasies and the poignancy of her story tend to be of more interest than the self-realization of the main characters, neither of whom belong to this setting, yet seek meaning within it. Sensual (Jul., 361 pp., $5.50)

Reviewed by: 
Gerry Benninger