All My Fortunes

Judith Saxton, Author St. Martin's Press $0 (592p) ISBN 978-0-312-02159-7
Saxton ( Family Feeling ) here presents another memorable saga of love, loss and reunion. David Thomas, the last in a line of wealthy Welsh shipbuilders on the River Dee, is one of a group of British engineers gaining valuable experience working on projects in post-Revolutionary Russia. On a hiking vacation in the Caucasus, he meets Pavel Fedorovna (named after her uncle), who lives with her sister Eva on their foster parents' farm. David and Pavel plan to marry but agree to wait a yeara sensible decision that is brought to naught by the machinations of fate and the communist government. The British engineers become personae non grata; Pavel's parents are transported to a labor camp and their farm redistributed to peasants from the plains who have no idea how to run a mountain farm; and the sisters are separated. How David and Pavel are eventually reunited and the intervening events form the main thread of this generously detailed novel underscored by descriptions of the sisters' early life in the Caucasus mountains among Muslim peasants, the events that led them to their foster parents and a series of mysterious murders after the foster family is split up. This novel is evocative in many ways of Dr. Zhivago ; it is a potent love story set in the same period of civil turmoil that caused families to be destroyed and divided. As in her previous novel, Saxton's descriptions of landscape are lyrical and accurate, a bonus to her crafty storytelling. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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