Stella Landry

Stella Landry Robin McCorquodale (Morrow, $20) Foundling, foster child, and sexually molested teenager, the eponymous heroine of Robin McCorquodale’s second novel is a seasoned call girl by age 16. Though she tries to go straight, settling into a comfortable marriage to a small-town garage mechanic, Stella’s past is eventually brought to light, causing her to abandon home, husband, and 3-year-old son (it’s the Eisenhower years) and to wander, sorrowful and hardened, back and forth across Texas. You keep expecting McCorquodale to do something original—or at least ironic—with the sudsy formula, but she never does. For all of her good writing, her story, right down to its redemptive last sentence, is doggedly predictable. C

Stella Landry
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