Beggar Bride

Gillian White, Author
Gillian White, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $27 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7528-0045-5
Reviewed on: 12/01/1970
Release date: 12/01/1931
Combining keen social observation with deft writing, White (Grandfather's Footsteps) uses the familiar formula of ""how to marry a millionaire"" to concoct a clever blend of comedy and dark deeds. Gorgeous Angela Harper lives in London's bleak public housing with her chronically unemployed husband, Billy, and their small son, Jacob. Determined to change their fortunes, Angela decides to use her beauty to marry a rich man. It may be bigamy but, she thinks to herself, ""So what?"" Angela sets her sights on Sir Fabian Ormerod, financier, divorce and widower. Father to 20-year-old Honesty (by his bitter first wife, Ffiona) and sturdy teenage twins Pandora and Tabitha (by the late Helena), Sir Fabian longs for a son and heir--though not particularly for a new wife, for there had been a terrific scandal following the public disclosure of Ffiona's penchant for sado-masochistic sex and scurrilous rumors about Helena's demise. Fearless in her determination, Angela shoplifts a stylish wardrobe and engineers a ""chance"" meeting with Sir Fabian. He soon proposes marriage--but before the happy day. Angela discovers she's pregnant, presumably by Billy, and resolves to pass off the baby as Sir Fabian's. Tremendous complications, including a kidnapping, ensue, and all ends well, but not before surprising revelations surface about Helena's death and the true parentage of both the baby and Sir Fabian. In this entertaining romp, White painlessly delivers an insight or two about the pain of poverty and the limits of wealth. (Apr.)
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