A Severed Wasp Author:Madeleine L'Engle Madeleine L'Engle's new novel is the drama of a long and full life. Katherine Forrester Vigneras is a concert pianist who has returned to her house on Tenth Street in New York to come to terms with her memories, until she can look at them with acceptance. "I've learned a lot about acceptance," she remarks to her friend Mimi Oppenheimer, "and it ... more »is very different from resignation. I've never been one for resignation."
Indeed, Katherine has much in her past which draws severely upon her powers of acceptance. The htree men in her life have provided her with the richness of character which is the result of pain and conflict as well as joy. Her natural resilience is tested by tragedy and nourished by music, which is always the background of her life. One correspondent says that "when an audience listens to Vigneras, there is no curtain of protection between player and listener, but a sensation of music not so much being played as creating itself."
If Katherine had expected to retire quietly, sorting through memories as some people go over old photographs, she is rudely disappointed. When she agrees to give a benefit concert for an old friend, Felix Bodeway, the retired fifteenth bishop of New York, she is drawn into the life of "his" Cathedral, and that of the people on the Cathedral Close. Not only are there the inevitable clashes between conflicting personalities for Katherine to sort out and mediate, but she is enmeshed in an unexpected web of terror. Her past becomes a living part of the present, so that time is warped, and Katherine herself must untangle the web, no matter how high the cost.« less