Books: Sorrows

IN ANOTHER COUNTRY by Susan Kenney Viking; 163 pages; $13.95

At the age of eleven, Sara is taken to a circus sideshow. There she is confronted with something inexplicable to a child and incomprehensible to her father:

a freak born without limbs. "Does she have no arms and legs really?" the girl asks. The reply is reassuring and false: "It's all done with mirrors."

The words might be inscribed on the family's coat of arms. For Sara's par ents, tragedy in any form is something stage-managed and therefore bogus. But as Susan Kenney, 43, indicates in her terse and precisely felt novel, even...

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