The Ambassador's Women

Catherine Gaskin, Author Scribner Book Company $0 (537p) ISBN 978-0-684-18661-0
Tragedies fall thick and fast in this story of two families whose fortunes are intertwined by a chance encounter and the machinations of a flinty patriarch. Dena Penrose and Ginny Clayton meet when they are both in their final month of pregnancy. The English aristocrat and the American heiress cement their friendship by giving birth to daughters on the same night, and Ginny's rich, crusty father-in-law insists on standing godfather to both babiesa license, it seems, to meddle freely in all their lives. Separated from their husbands during World War II, the women and their youngest children retreat to Cornwall, where motherless Livy Miles, a gifted local child, is brought into the fold. Livy grows up poised between the families, bound most closely by her passion for Ginny's son Alex. As the children come of age, the charm that warded off trouble for so long dwindles in strength, and disasters follow with mind-numbing regularity. Gaskin (Promises has cobbled their drama together with little feeling for texture or variety either of language or characters. First serial to Good Housekeeping; paperback rights to Avon; Doubleday Book Club alternate. (March)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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