cover image The Wings of the Morning

The Wings of the Morning

Thomas Tryon. Knopf Publishing Group, $22.95 (567pp) ISBN 978-0-394-52389-7

Murder, suicide, elopement, an Algonquian witch's prophecy, a shipwreck, insanity, sudden revelations of paternity, a duel--a welter of incident, large and small, crowds Tryon's ( The Other ) big, old-fashioned historical romance, the first installment in the Kingdom Come cycle. Its star-crossed lovers are Aurora Talcott, pert, confident and just out of convent school, and Sinjin Grimes, rakehell, writer of raunchy, pseudo-Byronic verse, adopted son of sanctimonious lecher Zion Grimes. The real heroine, however, is not airhead Aurora (``I love him--well . . . because he's the captain of a fine ship'') but young Georgie Ross, daughter of a half-mad Scottish miller, who grows wise through her multiple tragedies. The Talcotts, gentlemen farmers, and the Grimeses, proud shipping magnates, carry on a vendetta that roils their circa 1828 Connecticut village. Unalloyed pleasure for fans of this genre, Tryon's literate 19th-century soap opera is steeped in the rhythms of Trollope and Scott. 125,000 first printing; BOMC alternate. (Sept.)