The Other Side of Love

Jacqueline Briskin, Author Delacorte Press $20 (566p) ISBN 978-0-385-29918-3
Briskin's ( The Naked Heart ) ponderous, slow-moving 10th novel is built of short chapters and subsections that give the plot a disjointed, bits-and-pieces feel, but her work is somewhat redeemed by good use of historical detail and interesting--if idealized--characters. The Kingsmith family is divided among three nations, England, Germany and the U.S. German Kathe meets her American cousin, Wyatt, when both compete in the 1936 Olympics. The two embark on an affair, but the family insists they wait until 1940, when Kathe comes of age, to announce their engagement. Kathe insists on honoring this agreement and refuses to elope, causing half-Jewish Wyatt to doubt her love and her opposition to Nazism. Kathe, by now too good to be true, gets involved in wartime British spy operations through her English cousin Aubrey, even though she loses most of her family and isn't guaranteed any protection by the British. After the war, Wyatt doesn't trust his still-beloved Kathe when she won't disclose her covert activities. In a predictable finale, the decimated family pulls through to the present and Kathe's romance is resolved. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
Hardcover - 566 pages - 978-0-385-30455-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21199-0
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