Shake Down the Stars

Frances Donnelly, Author St. Martin's Press $18.95 (505p) ISBN 978-0-312-01819-1
British writer Donnelly shows formidable skills in an impressive first novel, which follows events in the lives of its three main characters from the dawn of their womanhood to the conclusion of the climactic events in their livesevents that take place during the overture and first years of WW II. Plain, idealistic, well-brought-up Lucy becomes a land girlworking on a farm to replace the men who have been called up; her beautiful cousin Virginia, very spoiled and man-mad, despises Beattie, a pretty and bright village girl who, as the story opens, has won a scholarship to teacher training college. The young womens' stories are inextricably linked by their loves and the events in the war. Donnelly is especially good at capturing the essence of the moment, and as she switches effortlessly among the three heroines, reveals unexpected plot turns devoid of cliche. Poignant scenes may reduce readers to tears, especially the description of the evacuation of Dunkirk from the point of view of a reconnaissance pilot. Romantic in the best sense of the word, brimming with tension and drama, this involving novel is impossible to put down. 60,000 first printing; Troll Book Club main selection. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-552-12887-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-91729-6
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