The Daughters of the Prince

Noel Barber, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $22.95 (429p) ISBN 978-0-340-42539-8
After Barber ( The Weeping and the Laughter ) died in 1988, with more than half of this book completed, his associate Alan Wykes brought it to its planned conclusion. The result is a formulaic though entertaining romance, with war intruding on an idyll that begins in Italy in 1938. Three young men--Steve, an American playboy; Kurt, a German musician; Hamilton Johns, an English painter--who share a house near Florence, meet and fall in love with three beautiful Italian sisters, the daughters of Prince Caeseri. As the couples pair off with remarkable ease, we follow their fortunes through the narration of Ham, the painter, whose contacts in the Italian art world, notably with Bernard Berenson at the fabled I Tatti villa, make him the most memorable of the otherwise stereotypical trio. Inevitably, political tensions impinge on everyone's happiness. Kurt returns to Germany and the military; Steve to the States; Ham to England. Recruited into the secret service, he comes back to Italy via cloak-and-dagger operations that involve Kurt, now his putative enemy as an officer of the Reich. The European war, particularly the bombing of art-filled Cassino, is evoked with good period detail. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 613 pages - 978-0-7927-1061-5
Hardcover - 978-0-7451-5771-9
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