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This book was first published in the UK by Victor Gollancz Ltd in 1964, then in 2005 and reprinted in 2007 by Virago Press.It is the Virago edition that I have been reading in paperback format.
I was first attracted to the book by its cover because it had something of a 1960`s look about it and I am a big fan of anything from the 1960`s. The cover is the work of Lisa Spindler.
The story is set in the early years of the 1960`s when London had not yet become the famous place of the swinging years.The trendy people of early sixties London could be found in the Jazz clubs that were popular at the time.This story is so realistic that you can almost imagine yourself being there at the time with the stories characters.
The two main characters are Betsy, who is the first person narrator, a young American woman who is out to get her revenge and reclaim her inheritance.Betsy is a typical Angry Young Woman who is very opinionated and dislikes anything English. She is the anti-hero in this story who is often outwitted by her adversary, the other main character C.D.McKee.He is a fifty something distinguished English gentleman who is well known in the London society scene.
Betsy sets out and succeeds in finding C.D. through the various mutual friends she makes when arriving in London. Throughout their meeting,friendship an eventually courtship we are given the background story of why a young American woman should be throwing herself at a middle aged English gent with whom she seems to have nothing in common.It appears that there is a person in both their pasts who has influenced their meeting.
Betsy seems to have succeeded in her seduction of C.D. and is ready to take her revenge when there is a twist in the tale. It seems that C.D. is not as vulnerable as Betsy thinks he should be ,and with a bit of detective work he finds out who she really is , what links them together and why a girl young enough to be his daughter would be interested in him.
This is a story of revenge,greed, love and eventually heartbreak ,with a good story and an interesting ending . Although the reprinted book is now a few years old it is still worth buying a copy if you ever find one.