Colin Burke, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (424p) ISBN 978-0-312-45388-6
The turmoil engulfing South Africa in 1899 is reflected in the lives of Emma Stevenson and Bart Bannock, two English citizens who meet there as the Boer War escalates. Emma's genteel, tradition-bound family accompanies her to Kimberley when she rejoins her husband, Geoffrey. Due to Geoffrey's stature as a war heroand her mother's proprietyEmma stoically tolerates his aloofness. After his death in battle, she falls in love with Bannock, a headstrong horse trainer. He has recently smuggled his late father's thoroughbreds into South Africa to prevent his brother from selling them, but overbearing Major Gordon Masefield requisitions the horses for military use. Masefield, who delights in antagonizing Bannock, coerces the trainer into doing hazardous army duties in return for the assured safety of Bannock's treasured stallion, Marcus. Meanwhile, Bannock's happiness with Emma is threatened by her jealous sister, and he must undertake a perilous rescue mission after the Boers capture Marcus. The novel features colorful battlefield scenes, but its pace often lags, and Emma becomes a disappointingly shadowy, peripheral character. November 22
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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