SWEET ALICE by Coral Lansbury


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A frolicsome farce by the author of such busy tales as Felicity (1987) and The Grotto (1989). Here, a serenely vague beauty of middle years and her similarly dreamy son, both well below the poverty line, find a New Dawn in Australia after an often quite hideous journey, and a windfall of delights. Alice Morell, 43, and son Alaric (Eton and Oxford and Classics) learn that awaiting the appropriate Morell female is a legacy of $30 million. But between them and the winging-in of the inheritance are four weird Morell sisters. The family mansion in England is stripped and sold to others, so Alice (product of an anachronistic upbringing with the airs and graces of 60 years before) and Alaric (usually deep in classical myth and Greek hexameters) set off to live in what turns out to be the family hovel at Mockery Bend in Australia. Among the neighbors at Mockery Bend are smitten men, both young and crabbed, and the lovely Alice appropriates a herd of cows, chickens, and a prize dog. Meanwhile, Alaric stands off his four aunts--a golfer, an antiques dealer, a mother superior, and a drug dealer. They're poisonous all--expert at lacing with arsenic, exploding, etc. (Alice receives some lethal mail). Everyone is quite delighted by the close--while in the garden can be heard the ghostly laughter of Alice's late Aunt Penelope, whose happy life was spent larking in gilded (and royal) bedchambers. The lightest of lighthearted fun.

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 1989
Publisher: Dutton