The Weeping and the Laughter

Noel Barber, Author McGraw-Hill Companies $0 (381p) ISBN 978-0-07-003657-4
The veteran British writer's new novel (after The Other Side of Paradise ) is a sweeping saga that details the uneven fortunes of an aristocratic Russian family. Forced to flee their native country in 1919, the Korolev family is separated at the border in a bloody skirmish with revolutionaries. Twelve-year-old Nicki, his half-sister Galina and his father Prince Dmitri are the fortunate survivors who establish themselves in Paris and, with the aid of their Swiss bank account, become moderately influential in the cultural and political events of the '30s and '40s. Nicki finds a job handling Russian affairs in France for the Red Cross. Galina achieves international stardom as a ballerina; colorful scenes cover the Ballet Russe's formative years, with Diaghilev and Balanchine at the helm. Emotional reunions with lost family members are inevitable. Nicki's aunt Olga suddenly reappears in the 1920s with a child she claims is her adopted daughter and Rudi, Nicki's twin, is found after the war in a prison camp. Though he uses some weary plot lines that verge on the comic (separation of twins, a search for long-lost family jewels, an infant's mysterious identity) Barber gives them unexpected twists and, with a fine eye for period detail, tells a lively and absorbing story. (October)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Hardcover - 978-0-7451-5770-2
Hardcover - 596 pages - 978-0-7927-0026-5
Hardcover - 596 pages - 978-0-7927-0025-8
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-340-48843-0
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-1-55817-322-4
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