TISH by Cissie Miller
Kirkus Star


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Refreshing, airborne Regency romance--bobbing along with amusing personae and captivating drifts into the sport of ballooning. . . which is the earnest pursuit of Miller's endearing Lake District heroine: mettlesome Lady Letitia Abbott. To save her aged and ill dependents from displacement from their humble farm property, Tish has evolved a secret plan; she will balloon to France, become famous (or infamous), and earn a fortune by public lecturing. But there are two continuing irritants in this blissfully simple program. There's the gas-pumping balloon tubing, which tends to break down. And there's the disturbing presence of Alexander Grenfell, Earl of Ardenly, who's a houseguest of Tish's childhood friend George, the stalwart Marquess of Lansdale. Tish and Alec first meet, you see, when Tish plummets into Alec's arms after her balloon rocks wildly down to earth on a foggy mountainside; having heaved out her gown along with other ballast, she's in her petticoat! Alec is outraged at feisty females in balloons, of course. The two spar constantly--while George, together with his eccentric widowed mother (who has never quite forgiven her husband for dying and keeping her away from London), entertain with agreeable country pastimes and a giant ball. And even after Alec and Tish must declare their love, Tish won't accept his proposal--since wives of titled gents may not lecture in public. But all will end gloriously, truth bared, when Alec leaps in Tish's balloon at launch and the two soar into sunshine, a storm, and cracked ribs galore. With bracing tributes to the early balloon (""A noble object with a beauty, personality and purpose of its own"") and the views therefrom while ""bumbling aimlessly through the sky""--a minor charmer.

Pub Date: Dec. 4th, 1981
Publisher: Doubleday