MISS NOBODY by Caroline Ross

MISS NOBODY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Written before Prince Charles' recent engagement--but with a new last chapter tailored to Lady Diana's triumph--this is a piece of romantic twaddle about an imaginary liaison between a ""Miss Nobody"" and the Prince of Wales. . . who emerges here, with Ross' lava-flow of worship, as part Messiah and part Victor Mature. ""His blue-black hair was ruffled by the wind. . . . She trusted him. He was her King. Tousled, unshaven but unmistakable. Her King."" Oh my. Well, the palpitating lass who shivers through these revelations is Rose, an orphan waif raised in an Edinburgh orphanage but then relocated for some years in America. Which explains why she does not recognize Charles at first when they skip off to Regent's Park during a ""Beggar's Ball."" Rose, penniless, has arrived in the Isles to look for her real mother, and she has a ""lost adrift"" look. This appeals to the sensitive princely heart: ""She was like him, marked but forever, a perpetual outsider amongst the anonymous, laughing crowd."" They talk, they kiss, they exchange tokens. Then later, Rose knows, and ducking publicity, she's off to a remote Scottish island where she's welcomed by the old woman Catriona and the English-hating Iain Dhu. But soft! On comes Charles, by chance downed in his helicopter, on that very isle. There's a (platonic) idyll, dreamy views of Charles in a pristine paradise, and lastly a rescue of the bonnie prince via boat--which leads Rose to her ancestors. Back at the palace Charles proposes, with the Queen's approval, but fortunately for Lady Diana, Rose refuses and returns to the doughty Dhu. A pubescent fantasy afloat in syrupy prose--and simple, bloody cheek. But don't overlook the attraction to royalty oglers. . . at least until the real-life Charles/Diana coverage makes this totally dated.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1981
Publisher: Congdon & Lattes--dist. by St. Martin's