Yet another of Macdonald's (Kernow and Daughter, 1996, etc.) relentlessly loquacious tributes to feisty turn-of-the-century...



Yet another of Macdonald's (Kernow and Daughter, 1996, etc.) relentlessly loquacious tributes to feisty turn-of-the-century Englishwomen. Once again, the author's heroine takes two-fisted jabs at both personal affronts and the humiliation of the double standard. There's true love, of course, and Macdonald's usual bonus of tidbits of antiquarian interest--this time, early commercial photography. Here, the world of Crissy Moore is ""all in pieces."" Shortly after their mother's funeral and the alcohol-induced death of their father, Chrissy's five siblings become scattered. Two young boys are spirited off to an orphans' home; an older boy is sent to a farm school; lovely Marion, the flighty elder, disappears into a home for wayward girls; and six year-old Teresa is ""adopted"" by an elderly pair off to India. Fired with disbelief and rage, Crissy sets off to the well-to-do home of Grandmother Trevarton, who, since the elopement of her daughter with Moore, the coachman, would not admit any connection with the family. Crissy is hired on as a maid by the old horror as she plots and plans to bring her family together again. She will discover some odd blood relationships as she unearths her grandmother's clandestine manipulations. (Is sexy Mark Trevarton an uncle or a cousin?) And what of the unlovely Trevarton relations who virtually kidnapped little Teresa? With new friends and the stalwart love of photographer Jim, Crissy will find firm ground. After Grandmother finally expires in a cloud of malice, Crissy, now happily married, will, with Marion, dash off to rescue Teresa. The tireless Crissy will also arrange a marriage, set up a home, and gather her far-flung family together once more. Crissy's narration is not as entertaining as the gabble, gossip, and joshing in some of Macdonald's other Cornish sagas, but there's always an audience for his tales of rags-to-sensible middle-class prosperity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996


Page Count: 400

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1996