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Ok, as writing goes, this doesnt deserve four GR stars. I admit that.Four stars are for the grins I get when I remember this book. The year was 1976, I was almost 15, and my wild-child much-older sister moved (or was possibly dragged) back to the little farm town where we were born. I spent a lot of time at her apartment that summer, ostensibly to baby sit her young son, really to get out of my parents house. She smoked, she drank beer (!!) and she read Harlequin Romances. I had been raised to think that Harlequin Romances were dirty books and women who read them were trailer trash (not that we knew the term then). I understand that these days the soft-porn aspect has been ramped up a great deal, but in those days the hero/heroine kiss was a big, big deal, and nothing really happened onscreen. Disney morals were firmly in place, so the Will you marry me?--Oh, darling, yes! scene was the closer. You read pages and pages of chase-me-charlie, and theres always a silly misunderstanding that could be cleared up with a single question and a single straight answer, but that carries on for half the book. I had never touched one before, and I couldnt put it down. (Cmon, I was 14, cut me some slack.)At one point in the book the heroine is fed posho (a kind of porridge) by the kindly African who helps run the farm. The next day, after Our Hero shows up, they are again offered posho and the heroine says wryly, I think he must like it--we had posho yesterday, too. It never strikes the landholders daughter that it might be the only thing the family had to eat. Or that by feeding two extra people, they might be taking food out of the familys mouths.Ill never forget this novels recurring phrase: His mouth came down on hers and his arms went right round her. In those days Harlequin heroines were five foot two, blonde for choice (look at the cover!), petite little spitfires. Unfortunately for me, at 14 and a half I was already 5 foot 5 and on my way to being a big, rather graceless, girl. I smuggled this book from my sisters apartment to family church camp (shock! horror!) and read it during after-lunch-before-swimming rests. (Had to hide it in my pillowcase, too, or Mom would have taken it away from me.) My best friend in middle school fed exclusively on novels of this type. It always makes me wonder if she had a happy marriage or if a steady diet of slush set up all kinds of impossible unrealistic expectations?Oh tempore, oh mores.I just finished reading Crocodile on the Sandbank which reminded me very strongly of this book. In a grin-and-shake-my-head-at-my-old-self way.

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