Winner

Maureen Odonoghue, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-53198-0
Wildly romantic and lavish in coincidence, this second historical romance from the English author of Jedder's Land is a saga that springs from a young gypsy woman's affinity for and obsession with horses. Born an Irish tinker, Macha Sheridan is barely 16 when, fleeing the conventions that 19th century society imposed on female orphans, she meets Coper Molloy. Said to ""know more about horses than any other man living or dead,'' Molloy becomes not only her husband, but also her soul mate and tutor in horseflesh. With Molloy as mentor, Macha, in male attire, races winning thoroughbreds. As their fortune grows, they engineer the audacious event that brings one of their horses to stud with an Irish champion racer, thus ensuring the bloodline that will be a resource for Macha when adversity comes. The first tragedy is Molloy's capture for running Fenian guns and his subsequent suicide (rather than languishing in prison). Macha, now a marked woman, is exiled to England, leaving her twin children with the Irish tinker community. Tempestuous and free-spirited Macha uses her special talent as leverage, but her ascendancy in English society is achieved through two ill-fated marriages, one of which brings her a title and entree to the sporting circles of the pleasure-seeking monarch, Edward VII. Waiting patiently, however, is an Irish fellow traveler, similarly attuned to horses, who will journey with her to the States. With such a sensuous, original heroine, one is inclined to overlook the occasionally didactic passages in this galloping romance. Pocket Books paperback; Reader's Digest Condensed Books; Doubleday Book Club alternate. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
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