THE NIGHT OF THE COMET by Leon Garfield

THE NIGHT OF THE COMET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Love turns men into angels and women into devils,"" begins Garfield--who might have added ""and both into fools"" were it not that the entirety of this mock-romantic comedy demonstrates just that. A companion to 1971's Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris, this takes place during four days while the entire population of Brighton, England, awaits the bright grandeur of Pigott's Comet--and awaits even more anxiously the outing planned for viewing the spectacle. Science-minded young Harris, who experimented with his baby sister in the previous volume, now schemes to trade the affection of another sister (Mary, 13) for the brass telescope belonging to the father of his lovelorn fat friend Bostock. Into their midst rides Cassidy, an Irish roofer-tinker combing England for his love, who is also named Mary and is, as it happens, employed as a maid in the Bostock-Harris neighborhood. Meanwhile still another Harris sister, the oldest at 15, begins an up-and-down courtship with her new young music teacher when she wrongly infers that he has come to seek her hand. Garfield nimbly choreographs all the cross-purpose encounters and unexpected entrances and exits, bringing the various on-again/off-again relationships to a generally happy conclusion at the climactic comet watch.

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 1979
Publisher: Delacorte