Country of the Heart

Kay Nolte Smith, Author Villard Books $17.95 (322p) ISBN 978-0-394-54655-1
Nearly 20 years after Russian composer Boris Nikolayev mysteriously failed to join his wife and daughter in their Paris defection, the celebrated musician is being allowed to perform in the West, at a festival in Finland. His daughter, renamed Hedy Lucas and now a New York-based biographer, intends to recover her father at last. Her mother warns of danger, so to avoid being snatched by the KGB, Hedy will pose as the writer of a projected book about the musician. Her boyfriend, congressman Jesse Newman, doesn't want her to go to Finland either, and not only because he worries for her safety: her erstwhile Russian lover is scheduled to be at the festival and he fears losing Hedy to Alik. Yet it is this same Alik whom Hedy suspects betrayed her father years ago. Smith (The Watcher) sometimes gets carried away with her depiction of the Russian artistic temperament. But she knows her Russian characters more intimately than do most writers of this genre, and by the time Nikolayev explains why he did not defect in Paris, American readers may realize that the decision to leave behind one's language, culture and land can be a more difficult choice than simply picking freedom over tyranny. (January 4)
Reviewed on: 11/02/1987
Release date: 11/01/1987
Genre: Fiction
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