Sunswept

Leigh Bristol, Author Warner Books $4.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-446-34697-9
Bristol ( Hearts of Fire ) embeds a tender romance within a brooding, complex tale of destiny, courage and resourcefulness. Set in 19th-century Sydney during the height of the forced transportation to Australia of British convicts (who, upon their arrival, were indentured to English merchants and gentry), the novel follows a wronged servant girl, Gladys, who is deported after defending herself from a rapacious earl. Fate intervenes to give her a new identity that provides a chance to help others equally innocent. But the force of events inevitably brings her back together with the earl and the artist who risked his own reputation to thrash her attacker, and once again places her future in their hands. Bristol tells her story with impressive economy, conjuring a character with a few telling details and building suspense through a succession of underplayed incidents. Her compassion and warmth for the underdog contrasts sharply with the asperity in her presentation of decadent nobility. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
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