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Catherine Turney (1906–1998)

Author of Byron's daughter: A biography of Elizabeth Medora Leigh

6+ Works 45 Members 2 Reviews

About the Author

Image credit: mubi.com

Works by Catherine Turney

Associated Works

Mildred Pierce [1945 film] (1945) — Screenwriter — 128 copies
Of Human Bondage [1934 film] (1934) — Screenwriter — 55 copies
No Man of Her Own [1950 film] (1950) — Screenwriter — 15 copies
A Stolen Life [1946 film] (2011) — Screenwriter — 11 copies
Cry Wolf [1947 film] (1947) — Screenwriter — 9 copies
My Reputation [1946 film] (1946) — Screenwriter — 7 copies
The Man I Love [1946 film] (2011) — Screenwriter — 4 copies
The Bride Wore Red [1937 film] (2014) — Screenwriter — 2 copies
Of Human Bondage [1946 film] — Screenwriter — 1 copy


Common Knowledge

Date of death



Bought this one for the cover and was happy to find a very well written and compelling story with some strong (although also sometimes stereotyped -- it was written in 1952, after all) female characters.

Katy and her younger sister Miranda are two sisters in their 20s whose parents have died. They move to California and are very close. When Miranda meets an ad man named Dick, she falls in love and gets married, and Katy is very happy for them. Miranda starts acting a little distant and strange and the couple suddenly moves from Los Angeles up to a cottage in Carmel. When Katy gets an uncharacteristically urgent letter from Miranda asking her to vacation up there with them, she comes up right away. Things seem mostly normal, although tense, and Katy chalks Miranda's moods up to her revelation that she is pregnant. Things get wild when Miranda has a seizure and then a miscarriage and wakes up strangely changed and insisting that she is Felicia, Dick's first wife who had drowned exactly 6 years ago that night (and who neither Miranda nor Katy knew about). "Miranda" insists on going to the house of Mr. and Mrs. Bradley, Felicia's parents, and reveals things to them that no one but Felicia could know. Katy and Dick have to decide what they believe, but as she learns about Mrs. Bradley's interest in the occult, Felicia's life, and a local group of people dipping into the dark arts, Katy slowly unravels the secrets of what is happening and fights to get the people around her to believe her and join forces to save her sister.

The book is told entirely through Katy's perspective from a future where things seem to have turned out okay, but the reader is held in suspense until the end of the book to see how we get there. Working through Katy's doubts, love of her sister, the pain of psychic attack, and the loneliness of her investigation (along with the exploration of a love interest with local manly man, John), Turney skillfully walks us through this mystery / horror / relationship story that never gets dull or loses momentum.

Turney was a respected playwright, screenwriter, and biographer who was one of the first women hired as a contract worker by Warner Brothers in the mid-1940s. She wrote scripts for strong female leads like Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, and Joan Crawford. The Other One was her first novel, and she later adapted it for the screen as Back From the Dead (1957), which wasn't super successful. The Huntington has Turney's extensive papers and a wildly detailed finding aid if you are into that thing.

I was the first person to add this one on Goodreads and the third on LibraryThing -- I hope more copies are floating around out there, because it is a hidden gem!
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kristykay22 | Jun 12, 2020 |
kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |

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