Emerald

Elisabeth Luard, Author Akadine Press $19.95 (574p) ISBN 978-1-888173-62-8
What if Edward Windsor and Wallis Simpson, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, had conceived a child, born in 1936 before her divorce, who was unfeelingly cast away just as Edward gave up his crown? This is the question posed by Luard (The Old World Kitchen; Marguerite) in her sprawling story of the unfortunate birth and fabulous life of Emerald Fitzwallace. As a baby, Emerald is shuffled off into the care of the duke's former mistress, Iona Fergusson, and her husband, Freddie. When WWII threatens London, Emerald and her foster brother, Callum, are evacuated by ship. A storm wrecks the boat, but both children survive and are washed ashore on a Scottish island. For a few years, after Iona and Freddie are killed in the war, the children are raised by the islanders. Then Emerald is spirited away from the island; over the course of her transformation from abandoned child to international starDshe ultimately becomes a Parisian model and a successful business womanDshe is watched over by the duke's machiavellian courtier and is chased by a sadistic reporter who has known Emerald since childhood and is dedicated to destroying what he cannot have. Titillating but relatively chaste, this glamorous tale of European high society, it will appeal to readers who find Jackie Collins a little too risqu and will feed the enduring American fascination with the British monarchy's dirty linen. (Dec. 1)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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