The Woman from Paris

Santa Montefiore, Author
Santa Montefiore. Simon & Schuster, $25 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7668-6
Reviewed on: 10/29/2012
Release date: 02/05/2013
Montefiore once again records the melodrama of her fictional peers in her seventh novel (after The Mermaid Garden). After the patriarch of the Frampton family dies in a tragic skiing accident, his wife and children come together to cope with the loss, only to find an unexpected guest has joined their ranks—namely, George’s heretofore unknown illegitimate daughter, Phaedra Chancellor. Though she is strangely reluctant to accept her share of the inheritance and all of the Frampton sapphires, her adoptive relatives quickly embrace her, especially her brother David. But as the Framptons get used to their restructured family tree, Phaedra struggles under the burden of an even greater secret of her own—one that could tear at the family once again. While most readers will likely see the surprise coming from a long way off, Montefiore is an able chronicler of family dynamics, making for a skillfully crafted, if ultimately forgettable, tale of high society drama. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown, U.K. (Feb.)
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