THIS ROYAL BREED by Judith Saxton


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 From the author of All My Fortunes (1988) and A Family Affair, (1990), another decorously told tale about family partings and reunions set in violent times. Here, confronting the Nazi occupation of the British isle of Jersey during WW II is a dewy, young heroine, an elder underground hero, a long-lost illegitimate son, and, amid all the muck-ups, lots about orchid culture--the royal breed of horticulture. In the 1920's, Charles Laurient, from a ``rich and ancient'' Jersey family, loves and (unbeknownst to him) impregnates American Helen, who flees home to produce son ``Laurie.'' Back on Jersey, Charles decides to adopt orphaned child Rochelle, and together they toil in the family hothouse, hoping that some day they will evolve the ``Pure Madonna''--a spectacular orchid once bred by Charles's father. But then come war and the Nazis. Charles, soon helping POWs escape, is deported, and 16-year-old Rochelle must carry on with the estate--and the orchids. Meanwhile, now-grown Laurie, an escaped Air Force POW, arrives, and it's love at first sight, but Rochelle--innocent to the point, one feels, of being a teensy bit simple-minded--is afraid of betraying her filial love for Charles. A discovery of a bang-up orchid, fame for Rochelle, and South American orchid-hunting for Laurie will intervene before the happy finale. Just a sweet tea romance (in spite of the Nazis)--though Jersey is a fine place to visit, and the orchid watering and pottering may intrigue some.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 1992
ISBN: 0-312-07094-2
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1991


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