Best remembered for the trilogy which began with Night Falls on the City, Sarah Gainham has primarily used the WW II years and after for various novels of self-perpetuating, romanticized interest. This one opens en grande toilette at Vienna's Opera Ball where Leona Chavanges expects to be escorted by Kari Lensky whom she is also supposed to marry. One of those old style arrangements. In his place Karl (who will be in real trouble at the end) sends Rolf, a friend, and it's love at instant sight so Leona and Rolf go away together to ski. But who is Rolf really? A nobody with no name, born on the road to a German woman who with her friend pretended to be Polish in order to survive even rape. This is a long inset but most readers won't falter between since the book is just what they might expect--magniloquent women's reading.