THE GOLDEN LION by Pamela Haines


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Haines' latest offers more of the same family-saga soap operatics as The Diamond Waterfall (1984), but here there's a new wrinkle or two: the long arm of the Sicilian Mafia reaches all the way to Yorkshire to knot up the threads of this otherwise very ordinary English multigenerational story; and for a blood-is-thicker-than-water kind of family saga, there's an unusual number of orphans. . .Orphan múmero uno, Maria Verzotto, the daughter of a Sicilian nursemaid, loses her mama on the Lusitania in 1914, but gains the protection of a fellow traveler and English industrialist, Eric Grainger. At the Grainger home of Thackton-leMoors, though, the only arms that really open to her are the lustful ones of Grainger's son, Peter, who rapes her and then protests that he was seduced. The resulting illegitimate child, Guy, is adopted by a nice neighbor lady; Maria, of course, burns to tell Guy he's hers, but doesn't--thanks to Grainger intervention. Peter is ""of fed"" during a business trip to New York by Maria's Sicilian connection, and when she finally reveals herself to Guy, he spurns her. So she adopts little Helen Connors, who's been evacuated to Yorkshire during WW II and sexually abused by the people with whom she was originally placed. By the 50's, little Helen is all grown up and playing around with Maria's husband--a washed-out singer named Eddy Sabrini. But ali's well in the 60's when Guy and Helen--Maria's true son, who thought he was adopted, and her adopted daughter--finally get together. In all: overplotted and laboriously sprawling.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Scribners