The Charmed Circle

Catherine Gaskin, Author Gale Cengage $19.95 (646p) ISBN 978-0-684-18842-3
Gaskin scored with the bestselling The Ambassador's Women , but her lengthy new novel is uninspired and forgettable despite her characters' requisite trappings of fame and extravagance. The charmed circle of the Seymour family tantalizes outsiders, but those within it suffer tragedy. During WW II, Sir Michael Seymour, a renowned actor on the London stage, loses his wife, a concert pianist, when a fighter plane crashes into their home in southeast England. The RAF pilot bails out, saved, it seems, for a contrived, starry-eyed marriage with one of the Seymour daughters, Julia, a budding actress. When their idyll ends tragically, the young widow retires to her husband's crumbling Scottish castle to bear their son. Julia's sister, Alex, a talented journalist, learns that her husband has died in a Japanese prison camp, and takes up with a powerful newspaper mogul; only Connie, the third sister, has the common touch, choosing love with a stolid civil servant over a career of her own. After Julia marries an American movie star with a bad temper and a history of abuse, their glittering lives turn into a protracted nightmare. Overpadding smothers what little passion surfaces here. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-70778-2
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