General Fiction

By Laurel-Rain Snow

Publisher : BookSurge

ABOUT Laurel-Rain Snow

Laurel-Rain Snow
A retired social worker, specializing in child welfare cases, I have now turned to writing—and have published five novels, all available on Amazon.com. 

I have four grown children and seven grandchildren.

An avid reader, I also enjoy collecting, traveling and goin More...


In equal parts funny and serious, Web of Tyranny by Laurel-Rain Snow is a proud, if poignant tale of Margaret Elaine Graham, a woman entangled in the trenches that epitomized her abusive childhood home only to flee into a stultifying marriage with Bob Williams.

Seduced by the hope of achieving her goal of a college education and a life free from domination, she is blinded to Bob’s true qualities—and in a very real sense jumps from the pan into the fire. Oppression begets oppression and as Meg walks a thin line of human betrayal, she learns to stake her own claim to happiness—no matter how high the cost. Her fight leads to politicking during the radical antiwar movement of the 60s and 70s, which manifests as a near-compulsion, which will turn her world on end. Enticed by the possibilities open to her and chafing at the strictures of the marital ties, Meg bolts from the marriage with her toddler son in tow where a whole myriad of troubles await her.

The burden of child abuse follows Meg Graham from her strict fundamentalist upbringing to the Summer of Love.

From the time she is ten years old, Meg is determined to escape her father’s controlling grasp, get an education and marry the man of her choice. As a young woman she reaches her goals, but happiness eludes her.

Miserable in her marriage, she takes her toddler son and leaves her controlling husband, builds a satisfying career as a social worker, finds emotional support among new women friends and explores the sexual mores of San Francisco in the ’60s. She rejects the conservative values of her childhood through alcohol, pot and (mostly) fleeting relationships with men. She also changes her name to Lainey. The novel’s multiple subplots reflect the messiness of real life but divert focus from Meg/Lainey as the central character. Two subplots in particular—the machinations of sociopathic Gretchen, who orchestrated a rape to blackmail Lainey, and the complex relationship between the artist Rainbow and Natasha, a social worker who years before caused Rainbow to lose custody of her child—could form the core of the story or a separate novel. The question of whether Meg/Lainey was sexually abused as a child hovers over early chapters, but as the story progresses, it is eclipsed by the novel’s other complexities. Only when Lainey begins hypnotherapy do repressed memories of abuse come to the fore, as does her awareness that she is abusing alcohol to bury her feelings about the past. A retired social worker, Snow does an excellent job of capturing the spirit of the ’60s in clothes, interiors, dialogue and attitudes, but the steady onslaught of new characters and subplots diminishes Meg/Lainey as a character. The relationship between Natasha and Rainbow is the strongest part of the book. As they go through the process of betrayal and forgiveness, they emerge as richer characters than Lainey, who, despite her journey of selfrealization, still comes across as a lost soul.

A rambling voyage of discovery through the ’60s.

Snow, Laurel-Rain


BookSurge (608 pp.)

$23.99 paperback

September 3, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4196-5686-6

Kirkus Discoveries, Nielsen Business Media, 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003