MARGARET NORMANBY by Josephine Edgar

MARGARET NORMANBY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From the author of Duchess and Countess: a soothing Victorian/Edwardian, careerromance toddy--with the bad and the beautiful coming to sorry ends (after jolly, naughty excesses) and the plain and honest lovers appropriately rewarded after years of misfortune. Florence Jagger, the cherished rosebud daughter of a Leeds wool-manufacturer, is lovely, but she's a pain--and will marry Richard Normanby, who's ""idle, dishonest, vain, beautiful, and very dangerous."" Together, then, Florence and Richard burn up the fortunes of their two families in high living, meanwhile producing two daughters: exquisite Charmian, a chip off the old frangipani, and ""plain"" Margaret--who become the prime focus after penniless Richard splits for America (he'll return years later and get his) and tippling Florence sinks into bananas-dom. Charmian, the lusty one, is headed for trouble with an equally sexy womanizer, Angus Black, but she's pushed into marrying respectable Bellamy Chester who's off to Injah. Meanwhile, Margaret is admired by older mill-tycoon Henry Grimshaw, but he weds ordinary Angela instead; so Margaret apprentices herself to a Leeds dress shop, rising rapidly to the top--thanks in part to her future husband, elegantly kind ""Ferdi"" Leon (they open a wildly successful London dress shop); but Ferdi is a homosexual, Henry and Margaret meet in Paris, a babe is conceived. And while Charmian goes from bad to worse (Bellamy kills Angus; commits suicide), Margaret will have more troubles before being reunited with her child at last. No surprises here--but this is the sort of saga that comfily surrounds you. . . like a down housecoat.

Pub Date: March 2nd, 1983
Publisher: St. Martin's