THE SPELL by Gustav Breuer


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The story of a conflict in loyalties, this uses a background of postwar Austria and lends a more than smooth sheen to the story of Leni von Wertheimstein, whose husband-Erich- a refugee-had died fighting with the Americans, and who returns with their small son to the homeland with which she feels more closely identified. There she falls in love with Conrad Brandt, a concentration camp victim, is obsessed by the attraction he exerts over her, marries him, and only learns his activities, but also unable to betray him, Leni lets the situation slide until she is faced by her first husband's closest friend- now with the State Department- and another American officer, is presented with Conrad's folio and the evidence of the appalling atrocities committed as an S.S. officer, and is saved from her love for him by his death. The muting of beliefs and allegiances in the face of an intense physical passion, this as a drama is pitched high but sustained.

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 1950
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin