Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When Winter Returns- Kathryn Miller Haines

When Winter Returns
Kathryn Miller Haines
Harper, May 11 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780061579578

In 1943, Rosie Winter and her best friend Jayne Hamilton are elated to be back in New York following their traumatic South Pacific USO tour (see Winter in June). The pair makes a special stop in Upstate New York to pay their respects to the parents of Billy DeMille, Jayne's late fiancé who died in action two months ago.

However, the pair is stunned to learn their Billy was not the real Billy; he stole the identity of DeMille who died at Pearl harbor during the infamous attack. At the George Bernard Shaw Home for Women Pursuing Theatrical Vocations in Manhattan, Rosie shares rooms with her enemy Ruby Priest, and Jayne with eccentric Ann Fremont. They visit the apartment of the Billy they knew and find German letters written in disappearing ink and a stack of money. Jayne's mobster former boyfriend Tony is causing trouble and the two performers cannot find parts as another gangster Vinnie has blacklisted them. Finally Jack is back; apparently having deserted after being injured while at war

The latest Winter WW II drama is a superb tale as the can-can girls return home bringing alive mostly Manhattan with their lively dance steps. The mystery of “the wrong Mr. Wright is fun to follow while the two actresses struggle to find work, having been blacklisted by the Mob several years before McCarthy did likewise. Rosie is at her best as she weaves a web of lies to protect her friends only to be overwhelmed with keeping track while also trying to solve everyone’s problems because everything's not coming up Rosie.

Harriet Klausner

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