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Miss Bridge returns to the general public -- and hers -- after several years. (Her last, Four-Part Setting, a too conversational satire, was limited.) This new novel has many virtues, all of them attractive -- picturesque montage, an appealing cast, substantial-and often exciting -- action, and her usual quality writing. The scenes shift from the Riviera to Spain during the Spanish Civil war. Involved are James Milcolm, an English correspondent, Rosemary, eighteen, observant, saucy, and courageous, and a family of Spanish aristocrats -- who despite their Fascistic tendencies have sufficient charm to redeem them. Milcolm, liberal by conviction, takes on the cause of the Condesa de Verdura first out of pity (her child is killed by the Reds, her husband jailed, and her brother missing) then out of love. He brings her to the Riviera hotel where Rosemary is summering, and Rosemary, alert and friendly, soon becomes friends with the Duquesa and brings sympathetic support to her love for Milcolm which she shares. Drama in Milcolm's attempts to locate the Duquesa's brother, a member of the underground, in Rosemary's discovery of the underground route, in Milcolm's experiences in the Spanish jails, in his renunciation of the Duquesa, and finally in his search -- with Rosemary -- for the missing brother which ends at a grave on the border. Nicely finished romance and adventure, which should make it a sure summer seller.

Publisher: Little, Brown