THE FIREMAN'S FAIR
by Josephine Humphreys
Viking; 263 pages; $19.95
There is nothing like a 140-m.p.h. wind to get a new slant on things. That, at least, is the premise of Josephine Humphreys' third novel, set in Charleston, S.C., and environs shortly after Hurricane Hugo whipped through in late September 1989.
What more seductive place to locate a story about love and other disasters? The city has its irresistible charms: 18th century architecture, a dashing 19th century history and old families that have been likened to the ancient Chinese because they eat rice, drink tea and worship their ancestors. Minutes away...