The Wild Rose

Doris Mortman, Author Bantam Books $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-07419-2
This overlong yet at times engrossing saga traces the intricate relationship between two gifted but ill-fated Hungarian families. Istvan and Matyas Kardos are nine and 14 when their parents are massacred during the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Spirited out of the country to live with relatives in Kentucky, they follow disparate but equally successful paths: Istvan (now Steven) becomes a U.S. congressman and Matyas (Matthew) a prosperous financial analyst. Steven's ties to Hungary remain strong; he never forgets his youthful love for Katalin Gaspar. Now emerging as one of the world's foremost concert pianists, Katalin is also deeply involved in an intriguing but dangerous sideline. Both Steven and Katalin make wildly unsuitable marriages: Katalin to a high-ranking Communist official, Steven to a vain and ambitious socialite. When Katalin wins a scholarship to Juilliard the two meet again, and their romance ignites and flourishes despite political upheavals and family traumas. Mortman ( Rightfully Mine ) writes passionately of the rich, troubled Hungarian heritage. The many bold and memorable characters and the rousing finale, however, are somewhat undermined by cliched prose and a quagmire of subplots. BOMC selection. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
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