The Trevarton Inheritance

Malcolm MacDonald, Author
Malcolm MacDonald, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-14748-8
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Prolific and reliable, Macdonald (Kernow & Son) again offers sound commercial fiction that combines history and romance. Only 16 years old but precociously mature, Crissy Moore is the author's strongest female protagonist yet. Crissy is determined to keep her five siblings together after the mesalliance of her upper-class mother and brutish coachman father ends in their deaths within a day of each other. Searching out her mother's family, the Trevartons, at Fenton Lodge in Falmouth, she finds a kindly grandfather and a cold, vindictive grandmother who does everything in her power to keep the Moores apart. Yet Mrs. Trevarton hires Crissy as her ""lady's maid"" and brings her close, at least in physical proximity, to the rest of the family, which includes an assortment of good and wicked characters. Meanwhile, Crissy's siblings are all in peril: her baby sister is sold for adoption, her elder sister is in a reformatory, her brothers are in an orphanage and a farm school--and her own recourse as a female in late 1800s Cornwall seems non-existent. Ingenuity, faith and love begin to triumph with the help of several minor characters and her brilliant beau, Jim Collett. But then Crissy's burning ambition to bring her family together threatens to stand in the way of her future as a wife. Macdonald always maintains a brisk narrative pace, and his sound social commentary adds to the reader's enjoyment. (Oct.)
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