Random Musings of a Woman with Too Many Cats

And a field of study that few people know much about...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Billie Hinton and Claire Caviness

This summer I discovered an author, and a character, I love.  The author is Billie Hinton, the character is Claire Caviness, who is one of the main character in her novels claire-obscure and Signs That Might be Omens.  In the first novel, Claire is a young woman, recently graduated from college and working in a bookstore.  She meets and moves in with Finn, a medical student who is--odd.  He does not sleep with her, for reasons that become clear later in the novel, but he clearly tries to possess her.  Soon she meets another man, Raoul, who has a thing for rescuing women who need it.  Raoul's best friend is Bingham.  The plot is psychologically interesting, and the writing is dream-inducing.  The entire novel is written in the present tense, so all the action (actually set in the 1980s as becomes clear due to details in the book-- no cell phones, music, even Claire's clothing) seems immediate, as if one is living through everything right along with Claire.

The second novel, Signs That Might be Omens, opens in 2004, twenty years after the events in claire-obscure.  From there, it fills in what has happened in the intervening years, passing back and forth from the novel's present to different points in the past and from both Claire's point of view and Bingham's, who is, it seems, Claire's soulmate.  It seems, at times, that the entire book is about near misses, but perhaps these two need their life lessons before they can truly come together.

Both books seem to resolve, and yet do not.  I think I read (but cannot find it now) that these are the first two books of a planned quartet.  If so, I certainly look forward to the upcoming novels!

Both books speak of dreams, as does a third book I read by Hinton, The Meaning of Isolated Objects.  I was not surprised to find that the author is also a Jungian psychotherapist.  These books are available on  Amazon for Kindle.

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