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When published by St Martin's Press and Piatkus in 1994, the novel attracted the following reviews: The setting for Macdonald's new historical romance is the Cornish town of Penzance during WWI, but it might as well be Peyton Place for all the secrets and sexual high-jinks it hosts. The pages don't exactly fly by but they do offer the well-wrought historical details, plot twists, and vivid characters his fans expect — Publishers Weekly
A tale of voluble and feisty young women who give off sparks and set off conflagrations in a tight little village community of antagonistic genders and generations. The talk floods like a Cornish tide. Some may find the sheer volume of chatter enervating, but, on the whole, the gossiping village neighbors will prove to be genial company for the author's following — Kirkus
He is every bit as bad as Dickens – Martin Seymour-Smith

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