172 pages
ISBN 0-380-88765-7





Reviewed by Susan Rogers

Susan Rogers was a librarian with the Laurenval School Board (Adult Services), Deux Montagnes, Quebec.


The cover illustration, a woman in a long gown sitting on a white horse against the background of a full moon, leads the reader to believe that this novel is an historical romance. This impression is sustained by the mention of the “clarion call of the chanticleer” in the first paragraph. The time, however, is the twentieth century, complete with rock singers, motorcycles, and drugs. The story takes place in the Marches, a strip of land between England and Wales — a setting that gives the characters romantic names and allows them to participate in pagan festivals.

Freya and Keridwen Urishay are 23-year-old twin sisters. Keri, a model, has embraced modern culture, with its fast cars, drugs, and sexual promiscuity. Freya, however, is different. Perhaps brain-damaged at birth, she lives on a different plane. She communicates with adults with difficulty but has a great sensitivity for animals and is a brilliant artist. The novel relates the sisters’ relationships to each other and to the characters around them. The narrator of the story, a writer, states at the end that he felt compelled to tell Freya’s story in order to help men and women struggling with the agony of loneliness and searching for the secret of eternal life. It is doubtful that readers will find answers to these issues in the novel, but the plot moves along quickly and the characters are interesting.


Benson, Nella, “Amaranth,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 20, 2024,