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The author of The Small Woman (see p. 165, 1957) better known in film form The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, again turns to an unusual heroine in his new book. Sandes was the daughter of a provincial British prelate, who burned for adventure, preferably amid the supposed splendors of war. She achieved her ambition when, after serving as a nurse and even operating on gangrene cases in Valjevo, she became in the 2nd Regiment of the First Serbian Army during Serbia's ill-fated stand against the Bulgars in World War I. Flora Sandes responded to the rigors of world with spirit, took part in the tragic retreat to Salonika. The author her romance with patriot Janachko Jovitch, killed in battle when on loan to the 3rd Company, known for not taking care of its officers properly. She was wounded when with the Allies she went back to Serbia against the Bulgars, on Hill 1212, and even on convalescent leave spent herself reaping supplies for the Serbian army in wartime, she rose to Sergeant rank; in post-war service, with the Frontier Troops, she became a Second Lieutenant. She married her Sergeant Yurie Yudenitch when the Troops disbanded and spent the rest of her eventful life in Paris- and Belgrade. The one here is consistently heroine-worshipful and simplistic and while hers was an ncommon life, it seems longer ago and farther away than it should.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1963
Publisher: Dutton