SNAPSHOTS OF PARADISE: Love Stories by Adèle Geras


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The Danielle Steel readers of tomorrow have to start somewhere, one supposes--so there may be a place for this smooth, soapy octet by England-based novelist Geras, who continues the drift toward fluff seen in Voyage (1983). Most of the stories involve triangles of one sort or another. In ""The Green Behind the Glass,"" a 1916 girl mourns the WW I death of her sister's fiancÉ, knowing that it was she whom he really loved. ""Love Letters"" is a mildly amusing O. Henry-ish variation on Cyrano de Bergerac--with a female ghost-writer who falls in love with her pal's correspondent. . . only to learn that he too has been having his love-letters ghostwritten. ""Don't Sing Love Songs"" brings a pair of English school-girls to 1960s Paris for a bohemian fling as street-performers--until a triangle (sexy Jim chooses pretty Anna over talented Jill) ruins things. In the title story, an English girl, on a visit to US relatives, fails hard for one glamorous cousin but winds up with his sweet, unprepossessing brother. And ""The Whole Truth,"" set in the 1950s colonial community of North Borneo, features the seduction of a young lad by an olderwoman temptress--with the ensuing suicide of the lad's true love. (Some very pale echoes of Maugham here.) Two pieces do break out of the triangle formula: ""Alice,"" in which an over-protected girl (raised in a man-hating, ail-female household) is freed from her cage by a persistent suitor; and ""Tea in the Wendy House,"" about the entrapment of a too-early marriage. But this glossy, professional collection is dominated throughout by predictable twists and familiar sentiments--with just enough variety in the settings, perhaps, for romance-readers partial to old-fashioned, civilized diversion.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1984
Publisher: Atheneum