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If living well is the bestrevenge, living fabulously well can inspire rebellion - especially among those who have to clean up after the party is over.
For "Mrs." Madeline Memory, the headhousekeeper at Palm Beach's Royal Poinciana hotel, exclusive winterpreserve for the rich and/or famous, the "season" of 1896-97 seemsunlikely to offer the fulfillment long denied her, demanding as it willbe for her to maintain the grim façade of a prim, dedicated employee atthe sun-bathed resort.
Then into Maddy's chambered life barges one of the hotel's liveliest guests, the smoothly attractive andthoroughly unattached Harrison St. John Loring. Masquerading as afinancier who works when he chooses and plays with abandon, Harry Loring is in fact a glib confidence man. Though Maddy has been formallyenjoined from fraternizing with the guests, she comes to see thegenuinely affectionate "investor" as her one chance at a splash of color on her otherwise muted canvas.
There follows a series of elaboratedeceptions and escapades that add up to a tale of many parts: of socialportraiture (how the overindulgent of that glittering age dressed, ate,and played), of love (in an era when sex was a four-letter word), ofposes and illusions, of scandals and white-gloved crime. The illicit,bittersweet romance at the heart of the narrative soars and ebbs andconstantly renews itself as it finally draws its lovers together inenduring complicity.
Faithfully evocative of a grander andmore gracious era than our own, and featuring one of the more engagingheroines (and bodacious heroes) in recent fiction, Royal Poinciana is a timeless novel with an appeal for all seasons.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Bronx-born Nathaniel Dorn, long ago transplanted to San Francisco, is at age 62 a retired newspaperman with a leaky, unreliable heart as well as an unreliable son (a former dope addict) and a bisexual daughter, That's not all: his beloved wife has been dead for eight years and his lately beloved "shiksa" Gloria, age 66, wants a "vacation" from their quasi-marriage in order to work out her own multitude of head-problems and define her identity in the real world. Her therapist, who is also Nat's therapist, bears the unhappy surname Kaddish, which, almost too obviously, is the Hebrew prayer for the dead. (Even worse, Nat's dog is named Golem.) There seems no end to Nat's miseries: a troublesome prostate worsens alarmingly, requiring radical measures; his son lapses; and his daughter is raped and nearly killed. While some of the material here is handled capably, other scenes fail, especially those in which stricken Nat recalls the dead and speaks with them, not to mention his long-distance talks with an old Negro friend. Maudlin sentimentality makes it all seem all too familiar. On the way to the predictable happy ending, however, Grieg does manage to engage the reader's heartstrings.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Set amidst the ostentatious glamour of turn-of-the-century luxury hotels and gambling casinos of Palm Beach and New York, this novel traces the ten-year bittersweet liaison between a pair of social misfits: Madeleine Memory, who has borne and given up an illegitimate child, is head housekeeper at Henry Flagler's new Royal Poinciana Hotel; and Harry Loring is a professional gambler. Various not-so-new concepts are pleasantly presented but never quite live up to their potential for fresh treatment, and too many secondary characters are forcefully introduced only to fade into oblivion. Reasonably enjoyable despite its shortcomings. Judith A. Gifford, Salve Regina Coll. Lib., Newport, R.I.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Pinnacle Books, E Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1989. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Cover and spine are good with only mild shelf/rub wear. No dog-eared corners. Solid Binding. All pages intact and legible. Good reading copy. Clean. Store stamped. --- --- During the winter of 1896 and 1897 Madeleine Memory, the efficient and tranquil head housekeeper of a Palm Beach hotel for the well-to-do, finds her life drastically altered by a maverick playboy, Harrison St. John Loring. Seller Inventory # 10156
Book Description Kensington Publishing Corporation. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: Fair. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G1558171797I5N00
Book Description Pinnacle, 1989. Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG1558171797