cover image Peach


Elizabeth Adler. Delacorte Press, $17.95 (400pp) ISBN 978-0-385-29535-2

Two disparate story lines are skillfully braided into a solid, entertaining, if sometimes relentlessly melodramatic, novel by the author of Leonie. Young Peach de Courmont is visiting her redoubtable grandmother Leonie on the French Riviera when the Nazis invade France and requisition their elegant, family-owned hotel. Her beautiful half-sister Lais, mistress of a high-ranking German, secretly collects information for the Resistance, and Peach follows suit, carrying vital messages in her schoolbag. In America, Noel Maddox is abandoned to an uncaring orphanage and must scramble for the necessities and comforts that Peach takes for granted. Their paths crossonce happily, once disastrously and, years later, romantically, when Noel is a successful auto industry executive and Peach, who has left a loveless marriage, runs the de Courmont auto plants. Unusual settings and suspenseful wartime scenes give otherwise predictable plotting a real boost. (May 1)