That Sweet and Savage Land

Emma Drummond, Author St. Martin's Press $17.95 (285p) ISBN 978-0-312-05973-6
Affected dialogue, overwritten romantic scenes and a silly, unsatisfying ending cancel out the appeal of interesting characters and colorful background in British author Drummond's ( A Captive Freedom ) lightweight historical romance. It's 1848, and intelligent, independent Elizabeth Delacourt is unhappily married to army officer William, who's been serving in India--leaving Elizabeth in England to be tamed by his family into the ideal wife. Escaping on vacation to the country, she falls in love with strong, magnetic John Stavenham, himself on leave from service in India. His painful misunderstanding of Elizabeth's marital status leads to his early return to ``that sweet and savage land.'' Melodrama suffuses the couple's total spiritual affinity and Elizabeth's gift of premonition. Desperately unhappy, Elizabeth joins William in India, hoping to forget John and make her marriage work. All three end up settled in the same camp, with gossip and her eternal link to John making Elizabeth's life difficult. Military details provide some depth to this syrupy-sweet story. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 978-1-85496-685-8
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