Footprints in the Snow of the Moon
The sprightly Celine is a poster-child for the 1970s-generous, whimsical, seeking. She bursts upon the narrator's somber world one glorious afternoon, mistaking him outlandishly for a former lover. He instantly repudiates his family's straight-laced expectations. but no idyll follows. Celine's life conceals many locked doors: brutal admirers, her parents' divorce, financial strains, a forced abortion. The narrator (who re-christens himself Richard after their first encounter) discovers that rejecting his protective mother's blueprint delivers him into the no less suffocating fantasies of Celine's fearful depressions. Somehow an honorable alternative always eludes him. Richard is further haunted by his "namesake"-the seducer he resembles in looks rather than dynamism. The two form a bizarre pact whereby the "real Richard" hopes to win a ravishing feminist professor by pilfering some of his double's bookishness. Though the narrator enters this Cyrano-like conspiracy fully intending to assist his mortal enemy, his "noble sacrifice" nearly makes of him the same kind of traitor as the man he detests. "Footprints" is a sober look at our culture's least sober decade. Its unforgettable characters nurse a distinctly spiritual yearning through the late twentieth century's famished appetite for thrills and fatal indifference to promises.
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