A Family Affair

A Family Affair

  • Hardback
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 139 x 217mm
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Grafton
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Library edition
  • 0246133937
  • 9780246133939

Review Text

From the author of Family Feeling (1987) and All My Fortunes (1988): a wide-ranging saga set in England, China and Japan of the early 1900's, featuring an aborted romance and its effect on generations to follow. Adeline Warburton was born intohe local aristocracy while Arnold Haslington was a product of new money in late. 1800's Oxfordshire, but the two were raised next door to each another and, as they approach their 20s, predictably fall in love. But, sadly, down-to-earth, practical Adeline and dandyish Arnold are still too inexperienced to handle a clandestine romance, and - thanks to a series of unlikely misunderstandings - Adeline ends up marrying her cousin, a missionary bound for China, while Arnold hooks up with a London chorus girl who is pregnant with his child. Separated forever, the would-be lovers never stop pining for each another. Arnold initiates an affair with a woman merely because she resembles Adeline, causing his wife to desert him and their two children to return to the stage. Meanwhile, Adeline throws herself into her missionary work to help her forget Arnold, surviving the Boxer Rebellion only to die of fever after giving birth to a daughter. Clearly the stage is set for Arnold's son and Adeline's daughter themselves to fall in love, but fulfillment is kept at bay as Adeline's husband dies at sea and the now-orphaned Yenala grows up in China, while Arnold's son, Philip, matures despite a profound mistrust of women engendered by his mother's desertion. As Philip takes over the family pottery business, Yenala apprentices herself to a Chinese potter. The two young people meet at a pottery show in Paris and fall in love, and after a number of obstacles Philip finally rescues Yenala from China's Communist Revolution and brings her back to England, only to discover that she's the granddaughter of the man next door. Wildly coincidental from beginning to end, but packed with historical detail and laced with a welcome sense of humor. (Kirkus Reviews)show more