Email this review


Once again (as in Sara Dane) Catherine Gaskin has chosen to huild her story around dominant women. Ginny Tilsit did not know her own strength until -- reasoningly- she found herself pitted against her aunt Isobel, who turned up at the Convent in Puerto Rico with demands Ginny refused to meet. In her very refusal Isobel sensed her strength to carry on the Tilsit tradition- and in her strange will she made Ginny her heir, the acceptance of the inheritance fenced in with man-atory restrictions. Ginny's father had lived out his life of exile without ever sharing his secret; Ginny's mother, of Dutch extraction on a sugar island still Dutch owned, urged her acceptance of the inheritance, at least on a trial basis. And Ginny, with only the superficial preparation of a year of trial and error in New York to break the bonds of her island upbringing, goes to England, to face a family shattered by this discovery of an unknown cousin. The book has its fascination; the portrait of a tradition and an industry and one of the great houses of England are well-done. At moments it verges on melodrama, but somehow the whole is in the tradition of the past, as shaped by two strong women -- Jane and Isobel. Only at the last does Ginny reverse the pattern. A holding story, with considerable romance, adventure and atmosphere.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday