Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
The French province of Champagne, the rainy streets of Paris and the sun-warmed boulevards of Los Angeles provide the setting for a largely enjoyable new novel from Krantz, doubtless bound for the same bestseller status that carried Scruples and I'll Take Manhattan. On the morning of her 60th birthday, Vicomtesse Eve de Lancel recalls her madcap years as a music-hall singer before she married the younger son of the Lancel champagne family. Her happily married daughters, beautiful Delphine and high-spirited Freddy, have an equal number of sizzling secrets to sort through. Delphine starts life as an exceedingly proper young princess, then goes utterly astray, becoming an overnight sensation as a French actress known for seducing and devouring directors. Meanwhile, her red-haired sister conducts a love affair with planes to rival that of Amelia Earhart's. While Delphine lives through the German occupation of WW II Paris, Freddy is aloft in Britain, ferrying Spitfires to squadrons of flying aces. No Krantz novel would be complete without a villain, and their half-brother Bruno outdoes Machiavelli as he plots a money-strewn path to the top. The sharp and amusing romantic cross-talk at which Krantz excels is much in evidence here. Although the first third of this hefty tome drags, fans can be assured of an exhilarating read once Freddy surges to the fore. 500,000 first printing; $500,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; first serial to Cosmopolitan; TV rights to CBS . (September) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Kirkus Book Review
La Krantz returns in peak form--with this extravagant tale of the fabulous de Lancel women. In the beginning--1913, that is--there's Eve Coudert, the beautiful but innocent teen-aged daughter of a proper Dijon doctor. Eve's own brand of forbidden fruit is the wildly popular French music-hall theater: she runs away to Paris, renounces her family, and begins to sing there under an assumed name. The warbling stops with WW I, but she does meet and marry Paul de Lancel, a career diplomat and scion of the fabulous de Lancel vineyards in Champagne. Eve and Paul end up, of all places, in Los Angeles, where Paul is posted; there, they raise two gorgeous daughters, Delphine and Freddy, through the wild 20's and depressed 30's. The girls are just as untamed as their maman used to be: Freddy has a yen to fly, becomes a champion racer and stunt pilot, and runs off with a Sam Shepard-type WW I ace twice her age; Delphine is sent to Champagne to learn proper manners from her grandparents, but instead parlays a tour of a Parisian film studio into a wild affair with a director and a budding film career. When WW II comes, both girls are in the thick of it--Delphine trapped in Occupied France, but fighting to save her Jewish lover from death in a forced labor camp; and Freddy flying for the Air Transport Auxiliary in England, ferrying Spitfires from factory to airfield (she even tangles with a Messerschmitt once). After the war, Freddy and her new English husband start a cargo plane service in California, while Paul and Eve return to save the ravaged de Lancel vineyards, and Delphine has babies galore. There's plenty more (including the girls' evil but brutishly handsome half-brother, Bruno; and a certain handsome American flyer lurking over Freddy's artificial horizon), and Krantz dishes it out with gusto. The same old formula, of course, but plenty of new twists should have Krantz's admirers doing Immetmanns and loop the loops. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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