Email this review


Twice as large as Briarcliff Manor and overgrown all the way to the ice house, this is a period novel, gingerbread rather than gothic, with a mansard roof which can accommodate anything. For the first third (1825 on) Marcella, poor, headstrong and beautiful, makes her bid for Brad Dalton, a married man with a son Nicholas, and she leads a back street life in the brownstone he buys for her while her eye is always on that other dwelling, Scarborough House. It is deeded to Nicholas, but she obtains dower rights, so to speak. Then there's the Civil War and after, smallpox for Marcella which leaves her hideously disfigured; her sister Charlotte and Charlotte's son Martin are presumably looking out for her interests; actually they all move in to S.H. with Nicholas and it's open season between the two factions, Marcella and Nicholas vs. Charlotte and the worthless Martin who finally winds things up in a violent hurry. Double your money back fiction if you don't care what you're getting, although it must be admitted that Mrs. Salvato has acquired a little more skill and she's sure got endurance on her side.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day