The Boer War competes for readers' attention with the more intimate psychological battles of the Ashleigh family in Drummond's sequel to A Question of Honour. Autocratic patriarch General Sir Gilliard Ashleigh ignores or deprecates his four remaining grandchildren while canonizing his lost heir, purported to have died a hero's death at Khartoum on his way to rescue General Gordon. The next eldest, Vere, an orchid-growing warrior-aesthete, wins fame both for his bravery on the battlefield and for his painting, but Vere's romantic temperament earns only his grandfather's scorn. The other three--brave young Valentine, accused unjustly of rape; passionate Margaret, who runs off with an Italian diplomat; loving Charlotte, who overcomes social prejudice and her shame over a deformed leg to marry a common man--fail to gain the old man's approval. Well-observed family dynamics, excellent pacing and effective changes of viewpoint characterize this chronicle of England's officer caste at the turn-of-the-century. Despite bits of purple prose and a few pat outcomes, this book should charm Drummond's growing readership. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1997 Release date: 12/01/1997 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.