The premier voice in women's fiction once again plumbs the depths of our emotions to the fullest in an unforgettable novel of yesterday and the day before.

They meet seemingly by the barest chance in the early 1970s. Zane Lone Bull, once an Indian activist and now a disillusioned loner, has no intention of getting involved with lovely teacher Michelle Benedict. He simply wants to know the nature of her relationship with the man he loved as a brother, who has just been killed by an unknown assailant.

Still, Z, as he is known to family and friends, is not one to pass up an opportunity. And she is a pretty lady indeed, even if somewhat obsessed by the history of an Indian insane asylum run in the 1930s by her long-deceased uncle. To his surprise, however, he discovers that his own family has many bitter memories of that grim institution and the dreadful role it played in shaping their lives.

As the greed and oppression that then ran rampant is gradually revealed, it becomes clear that it has a very active link to current events, events that just may get the two of them killed.

Ms. Eagle's gripping novel is one of both harrowing intensity and transcendent hope. No one writes of the human heart in more compelling terms than this gifted author who always touches our souls with her striking originality and compassionate relevance. (Mar., 384 pp., $5.99).

Reviewed by: 
M. Helfer