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If only this were done with a lighter touch it might well be termed an American The Family, for here is the story of transplanted white Russians, living in a tight little emigre colony in Detroit. The story starts before the German invasion of Russia, and the emigres are violently anti-Communist, pro-Czarist, even to a faint flavor of pro-Hitler if he could bring back the old regime. Lucian, a prince who has determined to acquire a rounded knowledge of plant operation and engineering, is a leader of the group, and completely upsets the applecart when he takes a job with the Soviet engineers. He is virtually an outcast, and the twins, Andre, a lawyer, who is faintly Americanized and who takes the path of least resistance, and Anna, who is embittered by a possessive mother and a blocked creative career, are the sole emigres who continue their friendship. Then there is the Countess Xenya, mysterious, romantic, with whom Andre falls in love, despite his secret marriage, but who eventually links her future with Lucian, in serving Mother Russia, now victim of the Nazi peril. The colony swings over, 90%; Lucian is now their hero. Their moods and emotions, their hates and their loves; their unreal clinging to the past set the tempo for the story. Fascinating material, handled with a somewhat too ponderous touch.

Pub Date: April 7th, 1943
Publisher: Lippincott