END OF INNOCENCE by Jacqueline Laird

END OF INNOCENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A portrait of a presumed hero is accomplished through the three worshipful women in his life, at intervals from the end of the war on, and in London- Paris and Italy which lend a cosmopolitan tone to his nomadic activities. Vital, handsome, and seemingly unafraid, Maurice Bergson is a more than lifesized legend, but on closer acquaintance the brightness of his image not only dims but leads to the ""end of innocence"" for those who had known him and loved him as a great man. The extent of his default is not immediately apparent--- to Gloria, a New York City girl reporter who matches his dedicated seriousness with a whiskey-wry flippancy; to Margaret, a young English girl- 18 when she falls in love with him; or to the simpler, peasant Luigia, in Italy, whose family he exploits. But by the close, ""eaten up with compromise"", his faithlessness to principles and people exposed, Bergson still is untouched and frankly unaware of his own dissolution.... A first novel, perhaps more rueful than cynical, and -- like Bergson- transient.

Publisher: Ivan Obolensky