Dancing on Snowflakes

Malcolm MacDonald, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-11256-1
When Katya Oberg of Dublin falls for a scoundrel, her parents decide to pack her off to her aunt and uncle in Stockholm. But Katya never appears at her relatives' house. Instead, she sets out on her own in the Swedish city and finds lodging with Rose, a fallen duchess who seems to have been intimate with many a nobleman, and Max, a rich, gossipy man-about-town who takes it upon himself to enlighten Katya about how a proper lady in 1898 should behave. This, not surprisingly, involves a double standard for men and women, but quickwitted, spunky Katya breaks most of the rules of class decorum: she imbibes alcohol, argues with gentlemen in public and finds a job at a local hotel. There is some charm in Macdonald's careful descriptions of clothes and interior design, and in the aimlessness of the plot-many scenes consist of almost random, though entertaining, gossip between characters-but the charm runs out when Macdonald (All Desires Known) tacks on a forced ending involving Katya's rescue by the flatly portrayed Count Hamilton. The ending works against what the novel sets out to do: affirm Katya's emerging independence from her parents and her sharpened insights about the men who pursue her. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
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