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From the old world elegance of Budapest to the opulence of Manhattan and the glittering capitals of Washington, London, and Paris, comes a magnificent story of love and danger, passion and heart-stopping intrigue... Katalin and Steven: even as children in Hungary, they has shared a special bond. Then tragedy struck, cruelly tearing them apart. they would grow up separated by an ocean and an iron curtain... together only in their hearts. Now, after years of work and hardship, Steven has forged a new life in a new land, rising from the coal mines of Kentucky to the corridors of power to become the man who has everything--except the one thing he longs for the most... Now, Katalin has won fame as an internationally acclaimed pianist with an adoring public, a brilliant future, and a handsome, powerful husband. Yet night after night, she gives her most stung performance offstage-when she escapes her barren marriage to lead a dangerous double life... and now, Katalin and Steven have found each other once again--only to discover that walls of deceit still keep them apart. and for Katalin--called The Wild Rose for breathtaking beauty, her defiant spirit, and her unquenchable thirst for freedom--the moment has come when she must risk everything for the man who meant more to her than life itself.
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From the author of Rightfully Yours (1989) and First Born (1987), another commercial stew--or rather a goulash, since the subject is chiefly 20th-century Hungary--with a dash of concert- hall music and Washington skulduggery thrown in for seasoning. Mortman's wild rose is the daughter of a famous Hungarian violinist, Zoltan Gaspar, whose nonpareil hands were wrecked by a zealous officer at a Stalinist concentration camp. But Katalin, a child prodigy at the piano, carries on the family name by winning the Salzburg competition and earning a scholarship to Juilliard. In New York she reconnoiters with handsome young Steven Kardos, a hero in the Children's Army during the l953 uprising, then American immigrant and Vietnam Green Beret. But their hot young love gets nipped in the bud when Katalin's called back to Budapest to attend to her ailing mother and can't get permission to leave Hungary after Maria Gaspar dies. So she plays behind the Iron Curtain, dallies with dissidents and gypsies, and marries the Communist hard-liner Major Laszlo Bohm. Meanwhile, Steven goes to law school, weds the dauntlessly wicked Cynthia Rhinehart, and heads to Washington as a congressman. Of course, their paths cross again, now at a Kennedy Center concert (with Bernstein conducting, no less), leading Steven to maneuver himself into the Hungarian ambassadorship--from which post he plots the overthrow of Bohm and the long-delayed attainment of Katalin. Plot and settings are decently handled, but there's no excuse for the way this novel runs on: 750-plus pages are larded with unenthralling secondary characters and long scenes whose gist could have been handled in a paragraph--making this more of an endurance test than a read, even for people who have absolutely nothing planned for the summer. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
This overlong yet at times engrossing saga traces the intricate relationship between two gifted but ill-fated Hungarian families. Istvan and Matyas Kardos are nine and 14 when their parents are massacred during the Hungarian uprising of 1956. Spirited out of the country to live with relatives in Kentucky, they follow disparate but equally successful paths: Istvan (now Steven) becomes a U.S. congressman and Matyas (Matthew) a prosperous financial analyst. Steven's ties to Hungary remain strong; he never forgets his youthful love for Katalin Gaspar. Now emerging as one of the world's foremost concert pianists, Katalin is also deeply involved in an intriguing but dangerous sideline. Both Steven and Katalin make wildly unsuitable marriages: Katalin to a high-ranking Communist official, Steven to a vain and ambitious socialite. When Katalin wins a scholarship to Juilliard the two meet again, and their romance ignites and flourishes despite political upheavals and family traumas. Mortman ( Rightfully Mine ) writes passionately of the rich, troubled Hungarian heritage. The many bold and memorable characters and the rousing finale, however, are somewhat undermined by cliched prose and a quagmire of subplots. BOMC selection.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-0340565357