Sweet Alice

Coral Lansbury, Author Dutton Books $17.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-525-24825-5
Exuberant prose and dotty characters carry this buoyant, slightly naughty tale of greed, goodness and British breeding from the author of The Grotto. Alice Morell bore her son Alaric after a fling with her cousin Henry, who then abandoned her. Living in shabby gentility at Morell Manor while Alaric studies classics at Eton and Oxford, Alice is evicted by creditors just as she learns of a complicated will in which she is named co-inheritor, along with four wicked cousins, of an estate in New South Wales. Taking up residence at run-down Mockery Bend, sweet-tempered Alice turns the heads of all the local males, including a womanizing publican, the crass owner of the neighboring farm and another aristocratic cousin. While she is blithely revamping local customs, Alaric, spouting classic allusions, seeks out his aunts--Gerda, a demonic golf pro; Flodie, who sells fake antiques; Augustine, a nun; and Honoria who deals drugs; they have been trying to murder each other for years--hoping to forge their agreement to the will's terms. That all turns out well is a given in this delightful fantasy, part mystery, part romance-- and all delicious fun. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
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