Dorothy Eden is not at her most ambitious--but that works to her advantage this time, with a then (1900--the Boxer Rebellion) and now story of the Carringtons, particularly Nathaniel and his wan wife Amelia (described as ""pure famille rose"") who barely survived the dreadful times of the siege. On the opportunistic side, however, there were the unique antiquities which Nathaniel managed to appropriate, including a dowager empress' black pearls--as well as his momentary seduction of a runaway American girl to whom he gave the pearls. She returned them along with an infant, Suzie, who was brought up in ignorance of her illegitimacy along with Nathaniel's other three children. Back in England, the other three haven't amounted to much while the objets d'art bring fantastic prices at Sotheby's. Suzie, now in her seventies, who has been left with the pearls, young men, and an engagingly high-handed way about her, dominates this part of the book and brings it to its conclusion. . . . A new and different story for Dorothy Eden with attractive calligraphy--velvet sedan chair reading for all those ladies.