The Sugar Pavilion

Rosalind Laker, Author Doubleday Books $22.5 (370p) ISBN 978-0-385-46826-8
Seventeen well-written and thoroughly researched historical novels (most recently, The Venetian Mask ) have come from English writer Laker's pen; in each she gives her heroine a talent or trade which can be described in fascinating detail. Here, feisty, independent Sophie Delcourt is an accomplished confectioner, having trained at her late father's Paris atelier. When Sophie is forced to flee France during the Revolution, taking under her protection the young heir of an aristocratic family, she ends up in Brighton, where adventures, dangers, career opportunities--and love--await her. Laker nicely evokes the atmosphere of Brighton in the late 1700s, the resort favored by the Prince of Wales and the woman he has secretly wed, Maria Fitzherbert. Plot complications also deal with Brighton's other ``industry''--smuggling. Sophie is wooed by two men: steadfast Rory Morgan, Captain in the Excise Service, who is determined to apprehend the notorious Broomfield smuggling gang, and charismatic Tom Foxhill, purveyor of antiques to ``Prinny'' and other bluebloods, but seemingly involved in smuggling himself. Meanwhile, Sophie sets up her own atelier and readers learn how bonbons, sweetmeats and extraordinarily complex spun-sugar centerpieces were produced. If Laker succumbs to the genre conventions, making Sophie more beautiful, brave and also more foolhardy than credibility would allow, she also illuminates a colorful epoch. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/29/1993
Release date: 12/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-6591-2
Hardcover - 663 pages - 978-0-7862-0225-6
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