A WOMAN OF QUALITY by Jan Westcott


Email this review


If nothing else, Westcott (who's been dull in books set in Olde England) chooses a less trampled locale for this predictable heart-plucker: Amsterdam in the 1890s. And, since her cast is half Greek and half Dutch, she has them speaking a sort of international pidgin, infiltrated with many a ""Ja, Mevrouw"" and salty peasant curses: ""May their wives be defiled by donkeys."" Nico Theros and his brothers Edward and Ben are nouveau-riche shipping magnates from Cephallenia--and they are of course, earthy and lusty enough to turn the head of any Dutchwoman. Nico has been wed to blue-blooded Anna for 20 years, and Anna's still a beauty, but poor Nico now faces bankruptcy and possible imprisonment for fraud. The only salvation: to leave Anna and start all over in America with his rich and lovesick aunt. Should Anna follow--even though it's a dangerous deed and she could stay behind with a new Dutch boyfriend? And what about upstairs maid Kaatje, who is with child by gorgeous, tubercular brother Edward, but is loved by brother Ben? Upstairs-downstairs chatter (in Dutch, remember), excess flashback, and lumpy prose (""The fact of his presence after all these months struck Kaatje dumb"")--by no means a quality product in this competitive genre.

Pub Date: Nov. 21st, 1978
Publisher: Putnam