THE CAROUSEL by Rosamunde Pilcher


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Pilcher (Wild Mountain Thyme, 1979) has the ability to fit out the humblest romantic doe-dad plot with enormous charm and warmth. So, though this slight love story set in Cornwall lacks the light satiric jabs of Thyme, there are the same appealing elements: a hapless child, a delightful eccentric, and amiable lovers. Prue, 23, curiously relieved to be visiting her unconventional artist-aunt Phoebe in Cornwall instead of the parents of her respectable suitor Nigel, watches a sad little girl being deposited in her train compartment by a cold, departing father. And the moppet turns out to be Charlotte Tolliver, who'll be staying at her grandmother's house, just up the road from Phoebe's. Charlotte adores Phoebe, as does Prue. But Charlotte does not adore beautifully coiffed, unfeeling Grandmother Tolliver. So, while Prue becomes fond of up-and-coming artist Daniel, she discusses the fate of poor little Charlotte, obviously unwanted by grandmother, father, or mum Annabelle--who's vacationing in Majorca, gaily leaving husband and kids behind. Complications ensue, however, when it appears that Daniel once had a ""flingette"" with Annabelle. Could Charlotte be the offspring of said fling? Poor Daniel disappears, then, perhaps for good. And, worse yet, Mrs. Tolliver summons Phoebe for a bombshell item: Annabelle has run off with a So. African, and Charlotte's pa (knowing Charlotte is not his) doesn't want her; furthermore, neither does Grandmother! So it takes some pother before all the good people--love-struck Prue, great-hearted Phoebe, sensitive Daniel, solemn little Charlotte--flock together. . . but there's the sunniest of endings. A wisp of appealing romance, without the leaden silliness and pretension that afflict much of the genre.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1982
Publisher: St. Martin's