This Side of Victory skirts the wrong side of good taste with potential incest and graphic torture. The American Revolution has produced ""a veritable conspiracy in the bosom of the family""--guardian Uncle Jacob Martine spying for the British and half-brother Herve spying for the patriots. Our sixteen-year-old Madeleine, so beautiful even Herve seeks to disprove his kinship and press his suit, finds instant love with the fervent patriot Claude Monet, double-hated by her uncle because of an obscure and pathetically silly family feud. Their courtship is long-distance and tinglingly romantic (notes inside silver trinkets, secret rendezvous), their abrupt marriage clandestine. Brief passion (consummation improbable in the time allowed) gives way to flight, and for Madeleine other beaux beat at the door while the war wages on--the siege of Charleston, a trip to the country, rough soldiers at roadside inns. We get a nauseatingly long look at Herve being picketed (a barbarous torture), then Madeleine's marriage is revealed and Uncle Jacob melodramatically exiles her to a house from which he has removed all the furniture. Hold your tears--here comes Claude wounded but bleeding pure poetry. Panting sentimentality detached from political events, decked with girlish detail, and morally dubious.