NOELA & THAT MAN IN RIO
By Muriel Maddox
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In two widely disparate novellas, Muriel Maddox explores different times and different settings as she takes us from Switzerland where a past secret endangers the present to the 1930s in Rio de Janeiro as the threat of war in Europe creates only one of the dilemmas for an American Navy wife.
In "Noela," Paul Sanderson, a Los Angeles lawyer, and his wife Liz are vacationing at a Swiss hotel in Vevey on Lake Geneva. As Paul glances across the lake to France he suddenly realizes that he is opposite the village of Saint-Gingolph where his plane had been shot down during the Second World War and where he had been hidden by a French family. He wonders what has happened to Noela, with whom he had a brief love affair, and also the priest, Andre Romelin, who helped him escape. Paul had promised to return, but never did. When his wife runs into an old friend and makes a lunch date with her, he quickly takes a steamer across to Saint-Gingolph. The secret he discovers there threatens to destroy his life.
In "That Man in Rio," an American Navy couple is stationed in Rio de Janeiro during the 1930s as war clouds are gathering over Europe. A former Southern belle from Raleigh, North Carolina, Lila Townsend loves the glamour of Rio but is bored with her life as a wife and mother of two small children. She becomes involved with a dashing German diplomat, whom she meets at a polo match. Their affair escalates and Kurt asks her to leave her husband and return to Germany with him. As she is torn about what to do, fate steps in bringing a tragedy Lila could not foretell.
BOOKLIST reports: "...captivating, written with great depth of feeling and a clear understanding of the impact of loss on the human psyche."
MURIEL MADDOX spent her childhood in Rio de Janeiro and has drawn on those early memories for "That Man in Rio." A tour guide's tale about the brave priest of Saint-Gingolph who helped downed American and British fliers escape the Nazis led her to that village and inspired the story of "Noela."
Muriel Maddox is also the author of LLANTARNAM, LOVE AND BETRAYAL, CAPTAIN FROM CORFU, and MYRA'S DAUGHTERS. She has also written screenplays and published poetry and short stories. She is now working on another novel at her home in Los Angeles, California.
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