White Lily

Linda Ladd, Author Topaz $4.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-451-40363-6
Ladd ( Dragon Fire ) packs this lifeless historical romance, the first in a trilogy, with twists and turns that rarely make sense. In 1864 Union spy Harte Delaney rescues Australian maiden Lily Courtland from white slavers. Lily and two aboriginal boys she calls the Kapirigis have traveled from her family's ranch to find Lily's brother Derek, a ship's captain whose last letter came from the Carolinas. Harte recognizes the name of her brother's ship and realizes that Derek is a Confederate blockade runner. As it happens, Lily is clairvoyant and has been seeing explicit visions of Harte and herself for years. She does not intuit, however, that he is helping her search for Derek in order to imprison him. Aside from her special gift, Lily is a naive cipher while Harte is sullen due to his wife's suicide and his estrangement from his family; both he blames on his controlling and wealthy grandmother. Attitudes towards the people of color in this book go beyond historical accuracy to offensiveness: Harte's black women servants are portrayed as Aunt Jemima stereotypes who say things like ``Lawsy me.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
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