Song Of Innocence

Written by Margery Harkness Casares
Review by Maria G. Parker


Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars, this story follows the star-crossed, reasonably suspenseful although basically predictable story of lovers allied to the opposing sides. Separated from her parents and guardians at a young age, Mignon San Marco is unaware that she is the daughter of an assassinated French nobleman. One brief meeting at the age of 16 with the Austrian duke Charles Eugene von Klein being enough to convince her she has found the love of her life, she makes it her mission to make him realize this as well. Battles, political intrigue, and other inconveniences intervene, of course, before matters get resolved in a way that includes a somewhat implausible but satisfying coincidence. While the writing has a tendency to veer into the florid metaphors (“He had tuned her emotions as he might have tuned a fine violin, with gentleness and a natural ability to recognize the perfect pitch of each sensation he produced in her. He taught her a new and powerful melody, and she yearned to experience the finale”), the abundance of period detail is a plus for readers seeking a few hours of undemanding yet enjoyable escape reading.