SILVER ROSE by David A. Kaufelt
Kirkus Star


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In apparent dogged pursuit of best-sellerdom, Kaufelt has abandoned his genuine knack for modestly amusing social comedy (The Bradley Beach Rumba, Late Bloomer); last year he made a so-so attempt at family-saga à la Fast (The Wine and the Music); and now he arrives in the guise of a Jewish Danielle Steel--with the easy-reading story of a beautiful ""Jewess"" in Nazi Germany. Rennie Jablonski, Berlinbred daughter of famed newspaper-editor Nick, courageously goes back to Germany from Paris in the late 1930s--determined to locate her father, now persona non grata. Indeed, handsome Nick is hiding in the attic over the Berlin cabaret owned by old flame Lillie (Rennie's beloved ""Mutti"")--and Lillie decides to pass super-gorgeous Rennie off as her niece/protÉgÉe, cabaret-singer ""Rennie Nacht, the Silver Rose."" Unfortunately, however, Rennie's silver-blonde sex-appeal attracts the lustful attention of two Nazis: swinish Gestapo officer Kimmel, who seems to know her secret; and young General Wolff von Danzig, ""a great big gorgeous bumpkin."" Worse yet, father Nick is killed by Gestapo agents when he goes out to try to get fakepapers for Rennie. So Rennie, while attracted mightily to Wolff (who does get her papers), attempts to flee Germany, with help from nice US media-heir Butch Jarman. But Kimmel blocks her escape, driving Rennie back into Wolff's arms: they become lovers; Rennie meets Hitler; she makes it to Paris as Wolff's traveling-companion. And then, with freedom in sight, she opts for Nazi True Love with Wolff--despite curses from her Tante Lizbeth (""you'll close your eyes while he and his Nazi pals make the rabbis clean out their toilets with t'filin""). So, back in Germany, they plan to marry, with the ironic blessing of Hitler. . . who calls Rennie ""the ideal Aryan maiden."" Happy end? Of course not. Because jealous, vengeful Kimmel is in action--arresting non-Jewish Lillie, exposing now-pregnant Rennie's Jewishness, forcing her to get out of Germany (thanks to an in-name-only wedding to Butch) before Wolff suffers the meat-hook death of traitors. And finally, ten years later, Rennie--now the wife of an Israeli diplomat--will revisit Berlin and declare: ""I have the Nazis to thank for my being Jewish. If it hadn't been for Hitler. . . I would have assimilated."" Pasteboard characters (the men especially), rudimentary prose, obvious plotting--but though less romantic or inventive than The Ring, this has the simple, heroine-centered zip of most Steelworks; and a similar readership can probably be counted on.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1982
Publisher: Delacorte