The grim political problems of Europe before and during World War II set in motion the plot of this upbeat, gently humorous romance, but such grave matters are soon left behind so the author of Madensky Square can spin a predictable but engaging story of love denied, then finally triumphant. As the Nazis march into Vienna, British paleontologist Quinton Somerville decides to save 20-year-old Ruth Berger, daughter of his Jewish-Austrian colleague, by marrying her and whisking her off to England, where the couple plan to obtain a quick annulment. Naturally, complications delay the dissolution of their marriage, so Ruth enrolls in London's Thameside College, where Quin is a highly sought-after professor. Indeed, wealthy, aristocratic Verena Plackett has set her cap for him. Ibbotson's spirited novel features atmospheric locales--Budapest, Vienna and the Somerville estate in Northumbria among them--and a colorful supporting cast of European refugees whose eccentric behavior mystifies their upper-class British sponsors. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993 Release date: 08/01/1993 Genre: Fiction
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