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The Vacillations Of Poppy Carew
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Wesley (see review above) is considerably less successful with this tepid romance, which opens with two events: Poppy Carew's thoroughly detestable lover, Edmund, leaves her for a richer woman; and her father dies. The three men who are to become her suitors attend the funeral reception: Willy, a pig farmer; Victor, a novelist moonlighting as the caterer; and Fergus, the undertaker. Edmund shows up as well, abandons his new love interest and wisks Poppy off to Africa, where she embarks on a series of unlikely adventures. Whereas some of the characters provide moments of amusementas when Victor rescues a fish from drowning at the local fish marketPoppy is a singularly unappealing protagonist whose passivity includes her in the ranks of the worst type of romantic heroine. She allows herself to be taken to Africa by a man she now despises, she must be saved from him when he becomes abusive and she is equally inactive with her rescuer. Although the novel reads quickly and the subplots are mildly diverting, the story is uninspired, the heroine insipid and the ultimate pairings-off predictable. (May)

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