Passage Home

Alison McLeay, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (606p) ISBN 978-0-671-69299-5
It's the lot of plucky 19th-century heroines to dash themselves against the era's stifling propriety, and peppery, once-widowed Rachel Dean is no exception. But as Rachel's meddlesome Aunt Grace observes: ``Widows may do as they like.'' And indeed they do. Rachel tastes love and freedom in her first marriage to Adam Gaunt, a moody wanderer whose sudden disappearance leaves her stranded in America to earn a living as the scandalous Mademoiselle Valentine in a frontier saloon. After she forges a proper alliance with Liverpool shipping magnate Jonas Oliver, she is dismayed to discover that he'd like to keep his lovely new wife behind glass alongside his garish taxidermy projects--brightly dressed kittens tootling flutes; squirrels grimly posed on tree limbs. Rachel refuses to oblige. Bound for the bestseller rack, this ambitious, rollicking debut novel scuds along under full press of sail with villains apace and romance enough for the hungriest heart. Scottish writer McLeay is a vivid raconteur; her wickedly skewering humor is matched by her assiduous research, which buttresses adept evocation of Liverpool's slums, shipyards and stuffy drawing rooms. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Hardcover - 978-0-671-94490-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-71532-9
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