The Homecoming

Marion Chesney, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-312-16865-0
Mannerly mishaps, matrimonial intrigues, outrageous social climbing and flashes of Austen-like wit mark the sixth and concluding volume (after The Banishment) of Chesney's Daughters of Mannerling series. The Duke of Severnshire moves into Mannerling intending to find a bride, to which end he throws a house party. A ""fine figure of a man,"" the Duke nonetheless shares the great flaw of his literary predecessor, Mr. Darcy: it takes young, pert Lizzie Beverly to cure the Duke of his repellent haughtiness. Of course, Lizzie falls slowly for his grace, but here Chesney's tale takes a turn toward the gothic, as Mannerling House itself throws up paranormal obstacles to their union. The house, indeed, broods over all--even casting a shadow on the inevitable happy ending. Winning, quirky secondary characters (among them two respectable farmers' daughters whose families have outlandishly high sights, the Duke's lovestruck young secretary, two silly society girls who spring a wacky plot to steal the Duke from Lizzie's clutches) help make this one of Chesney's best. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997
Release date: 12/01/1997
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