Traveling full-circle the long way around, this is one of Catherine Gaskln's creamier, but better, generational novels spanning 40 years through the lives of a mother and a daughter. White Russian, wellborn Anna has a brief marriage to John Ashleigh of Lynmara at nineteen and is quickly driven off by his mother, then faces repudiation again by her second husband's family (also British and high and mighty) when they buy her only child, Nicole, away from her with the offer of half of their estate. Fiercely self-abnegating (as she has been all along in America bringing up Nicole with only the help of a nightclub entertainer lover), Anna vanishes altogether, leaving Nicole to be appropriated by her British relatives, presented at court, pursued by many young men including the son of her mother's first husband, until she turns her back on wealth and position to marry a young man who takes her to Boston, dies in WW II, while Anna at least finds happiness with a Russian from her childhood. At the end Nicole returns to Lynmara as its countess and to an old age as strong-minded as her mother's. . . . A long soft read for several successive evenings.