The Fires of Summer

Adam Kennedy, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (518p) ISBN 978-0-312-05432-8
In this continuation of the lusty chronicles begun with No Place to Cry , we are told that ``adultery comes in all sizes and colors.'' So it does in the vastly entertaining rearrangement of lives, liaisons and living arrangements involving the wealthy English Bradshaw family and its American cousins. In the 1920s, American youngsters Helen Bradshaw and Jesse Clegg were welcomed into the clan by Clara, grande dame of the Northumberland estate. In the years before the action central to this installment,the invasion of England in 1941, Helen and her cousin Nora contend for Jesse, who becomes an academic, comfortable in his role as a Bradshaw adoptee. When Jesse, after living for years with Nora, marries her daughter Valerie, Helen conducts a successful search for the son she bore after as the result of a midsummer night with another Bradshaw, also her cousin. This son becomes pivotal to the Bradshaw clan, which has become largely a family of women who, incidentally, regret nothing. Snappy and realistic dialogue saves this convoluted history of a passionate family from melodrama, as does skillful evocation of place and tradition. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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