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The principal innovation here in yet another predestined turn-of-the-century piece is that Miss Eden uses an American setting for the first time even if to no particular advantage. Mary Ellen, of an impoverished First Family (with Virginia and British connections) is putting up a brave front in New York City when she is coaxed by her clan into marrying an upstart moneyman/realtor, Harry Spenser, grandson of an English chimney sweep and son of a Cockney mother now living in the Bowery away from the swells. Mary Ellen copes agreeably enough with a husband she is fond of but does not love, until after the tragic kidnapping death of her small son, when she succumbs to the clandestine courting of nice Cornelius. But frightened by a kidnapping threat to her daughter Chrissie, she loses heart and Cornelius forever. Enter later teen-age Chrissie, raised by her devoted father to marry English nobility -- a delightful personal revenge. Chrissie does go to England, is presented, dances with Edward VII, but she falls for divorced Lord Monkshood and shocks everyone by marrying him. Alas, Chrissie cannot read the danger signals, including veiled warnings from attractive author/artist Matthew, and it is not until after she is pregnant that she learns the dreadful truth about why Monkshood's first wife left him. Chrissie abdicates position and motherhood to join Matthew -- and if she didn't fulfill Harry's dreams she did realize Mary Ellen's. Satisfyingly plush -- a commercial sure thing for the bridge club or typing pool.

Pub Date: June 21st, 1974
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan