After the success of her English-set Wyckerly Trilogy, Patricia Gaffney returns to the "civilized world" of turn-of-the-century America with a story as wonderful and enlightening as anything she has ever written.

Like Tarzan and The Jungle Book, Ms. Gaffney has taken the tale of a boy raised in the wild and has added her special touch. He is brought to America from the Canadian wilderness to be studied and taught by the world-renowned anthropologist Dr. Darrow. But it's Darrow's daughter, Sydney, who learns the most from the handsome "lost man."

Raised by a pack of wolves after being lost as a child, the "lost man" does not speak, though he begins to recall the language and some of the rules of civilization. It is Sydney and her little brother, Samuel, who enable the man to remember his name, Michael, and to begin communicating.

As Michael relearns to speak and read, Sydney learns the true depth of love, compassion and goodness. Through Michael's eyes, she regains her sense of wonder and joy in the world and in the power of love.

When Michael takes it upon himself to release some animals from the Chicago Zoo, Sydney risks much to save him from the consequences and to uncover the mystery of his past.

Readers will discover a glorious world with Michael and Sydney; a world of intense love and emotions where Michael represents all that is good and innocent while he brings others a renewed sense of the simple pleasures in our world. Ms. Gaffney once more stretches the boundaries of the genre as only a premier writer can do. SENSUAL (Jan., 362 pp , $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin