SISTERS AND BROTHERS by Judith Glover

SISTERS AND BROTHERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In Glover's The Stallion Man (1983), Frank Morgan--with his prize horse (and himself) at stud around the mid-19th-century English countryside--was a rural bosom-ripper of awesome sexual voltage. So, at the opening of this sequel, three of the late Frank Morgan's by-blows square off: pretty Isabelle Flynn, whose Mum runs the local alehouse; her killer-pugilist brother Frank, a chip off the old blackguard sexually, but not nearly so heart-of-gold; and Joel Adams (a minor character here), who's been grumping about Isabelle putting on airs after staying at the comfortable home of her godmother, happily married Rachel Bashford (the heroine of The Stallion Man). Frank, who's been a groom for that rotter toff Harry Weldrake, now brings home the contemptuous news that he's about to wed Harry's wealthy, randy sister Rosannah--who can't get enough of Frank's rough handling and has secured him by becoming pregnant. (""His passion is an act of hatred,"" she explains ecstatically to appalled Harry.) On the other hand, Rosannah still has a kind of yen for her rejected French suitor, adoring ""Dolly"" de Retz. So both Harry and Dolly are full of heaving hatred, planning revenge on Frank--with poor sweet Isabelle the victim: despite the help of her gentle, four-square suitor, the curate Alec Bethway, she winds up in a Lewes brothel; but it will take a shocking, unbuttoned brothel-episode to open Isabelle's eyes to the perfidy of the man she loved--nasty Harry, who has his eyes on the fortune of a homely heiress. And, meanwhile, Frank will cheat on wife Rosannah with Mrs. Elizabeth Newbrook--all of which leads to a violent death, a public trial, an explosive revelation, and Rosannah's well-earned madness. (As in The Stallion Man, injured innocence will win the day.) Pulsing with splayed-out passion and violence, drumming with direful drama: cheerfully horrid doings in a splashy, shallow mellerdrama.

Pub Date: Dec. 28th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's