Secret Lives of Edmo

Lucy Kavaler, Author Dutton Books $19.95 (372p) ISBN 978-0-525-24819-4
This mildly entertaining historical romance is set in the 1890s in New York City and Bourneham, a fictional seaboard playground for high society. Melanie Edmont, 42, beautiful, extravagant, ``orchidaceous'' (a word Kavaler repeats often), seeks diversion from her unfulfilling marriage to Wallace Montague Edmont V by taking lovers, notably Englishman Denis, Marquess of Warburne, with whom she has had a passionate ongoing dalliance since she was 15, and young Harry Van Burgh (``Handsome Harry''), her ``summer toy.'' Edmont, fed up with his role as cuckold and pushed to the brink by gossip in the Bourneham Bugle , contemplates the unthinkable: divorce. Thus challenged, Melanie plots to capture Denis and fulfill her lifelong dream of being mistress of Carnaugh Castle. Kavaler's lengthy forays into her characters' minds become banal and repetitive, and she never resolves the fate of two of the more interesting of them, Harry's deaf but highly perceptive sister Evangeline, and Elmer Morgen, a muckraking journalist. As Melanie strains against her corset in continual sexual fever, the only thing sustaining the reader is the question of who will divorce and who will marry whom. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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