When Anne Peters, a young Englishwoman, is offered a new life in St Petersburg as governess to Count Kirov's children, she finds herself caught up in the intense lives of the family. The author won the Young Writer's Award in 1972 for her book "The Waiting Game".
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In a first US publication, veteran British writer Harrod- Eagles (20 previous novels) brings her not-inconsiderable skills to a grand-scale, if curiously lackluster, romance set against the complex political backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. The lovely and intelligent young heroine of her epic, Anne Peters, is quite alone in the world. Her mother died when she was small; her beloved father, a British naval officer who taught her the classics along with music, art, and horseback riding, died when she was 17. After his death, Anne is forced to become a governess, a humiliating demotion in social status. When an altercation with the silly and vain Lady Murray leaves her stranded in Paris shortly after the collapse of the 1802 Peace of Amiens, Anne is saved by charming Count Nikolai Sergeyevitch, who offers her the position of governess to his little girls. Once she is part of his large, comfortable household, Anna, as she is now called, falls in love with him. But he is a married man, and she a highly principled young woman, so she weds another wealthy Russian nobleman instead. The marriage makes her a countess and is balm to her pride, yet Anna is still not happy: her daughter Rose suffers from a horrible fever that leaves her crippled; and she is shocked to find her husband in the arms of another man. When the French invade Russia, it seems as if the whole world is coming to an end. But after all the personal and political upheavals she endures, Anna does find happiness. Nikolai's wife--never very strong--dies, and Anna's husband is killed, leaving her free to marry the Count at last. Action-packed narrative, competent handling of historical events, and some fine writing--but this never lives up to the grand promise of its epic proportions. The ending also has a distinctly ``To Be Continued'' quality, making for less than truly satisfying fiction. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
In this vast yet meticulously detailed historical romance, veteran British author Harrod-Eagles sets young English governess Anne Peters at the center of shifting and cataclysmic events occuring in Russia between 1803 and 1812. Dismissed by her stuffy English employers because of a social blunder, the outspoken Anne is hired by Count Nikolai Kirov, an adviser to the czar, to educate his two lively daughters, Yelena, nine, and Natasha, two. Warmly received in the count's diverse Petersburg household--which includes his ineffectual wife, Irina; his vitriolic mother, Vera; and a host of ebullient relatives--Anne, now called Anna Petrovna, predictably, falls in love with the count, whose response is guarded. Against the somber background of the Napoleonic wars and ominous portents that the French emperor has designs on Russia, tensions within the Kirov household increase. Anna leaves and marries unwisely, leading a hollow existence as the wife of a wealthy, dissolute nobleman. Although the plot is fairly formulaic and much of the cast outrageously stereotyped--there are only devoted servants, contented serfs, happy peasants--the entanglements nevertheless intrigue. Readers may look forward to the projected sequel.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción St Martins Pr, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110312062907
Descripción St Martins Pr, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería 0312062907
Descripción St Martins Pr, 1991. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0312062907