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Ledbetter, Ken.

Oakville (Ont.). Mosaic Press, c1986. 159pp, paper, $8.95, ISBN 0-88962-298-1. CIP

Reviewed by Don Precosky

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Not Enough Women is a short, tangled novel about Mabel Coker, an old woman with an unusual mission in life: to school the young males in her backwoods Missouri community in the proper attitudes toward their sexuality. Early in life she realizes that ignorance and puritanism are warping the men in her part of the world into shame-ridden, abusive beasts. She herself is a victim of her father's incest; one of her husbands does the same with a daughter. She resolves to prevent such things from happening to other women, Ledbetter is clearly a student and fan of William Faulkner and his style is unrelievedly Faulknerian, with unidentified speakers, sudden travels in time, twisted syntax, and circuitous travelling between two points. Mabel is a female version of Ike McCaslin finding herself betraying an ideal that she had pursued most of her life.

Although only 159 pages long, this seems like a very thick book, because it is difficult. I confess to getting lost and having to back up in more than one place. Definitely not for the casual reader, it should appeal to the lover of textured style and conscious art.

Don Precosky, The College of New Caledonia, Prince George, B.C.
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