CONCERTO by Elizabeth Darrell

CONCERTO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Especially for those late-night movie addicts who happily snuffle at WW II romances in which English men and women soldier on while grabbing at brief, heated hours of Love in the midst of War. In this sizable tale of passion, interrupted in Hong Kong and rewarded in England, Darrell (The Flight of the Flamingo, 1990, etc.) doesn't miss a heartbeat:"" 'Then walk away,' she said softly, 'walk away now and don't look back!'"" Australian doctor Rod Durman, unhappily married to silly, sexy Celeste, is at home in Hong Kong, where he hopes for a post as a specialist in tropical diseases. Lovely Sarah Channing, an aspiring pianist, has just arrived from England at the request of her banker father -- who doesn't, however, seem that happy to see her. Rebelling against attempts to groom her for Hong Kong's elite English society, Sarah grinds away at her music and gives a concert. Rod is transfixed. Also hovering around Sarah is wastrel Alex Tennant, who's bored and running out of the ready. Before the Japanese capture Hong Kong (Alex saw invasion coming, but no one listened), Sarah will know the real reason her father sent for her and why Rod was turned down for the position he so badly wanted. Also, Rod and Sarah, welded in a deathless love, will split apart when Celeste announces she is pregnant. The Japanese invasion brings death and chaos (Darrell's reconstruction is convincing), as well as scary escapes. Alex shows his true heroic colors, taking Sarah and a buddy with him on a makeshift raft and then a four-month walk through enemy territory. Rod is taken prisoner. Pan to England. Sarah's two suitors have miraculously survived to participate in D-day. There will be a marriage for Sarah, but to whom? Veteran White Cliff hands will know in an instant. Old hat, but this stuff still has a devoted, albeit small, readership.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1994
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: St. Martin's