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Coming Home

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Recipe for a romance novel: Mix England, World War II, the impossibly stalwart Judith, and the impossibly hoydenish Loveday. Add burbling exchanges like ”’Nettlebad asks me to tell you that luncheon is just about to be served.’ ‘Oh, darling Pops, haven’t you had time for a drink?”’ Season with clothes rationing, sudden death, and the inevitable chasms separating Judith and Loveday from their soulmates. Churn floridly for 700-odd pages. Result: vintage Rosamunde Pilcher in Coming Home. She never hides the fact that the war years were brutal and stunningly unromantic but drapes an efficiently magical romance around them anyway. Except for a weird habit of describing people’s eyes as ”juicy raisins,” Pilcher is predictable without being formulaic: The love is golden, but how everyone gets there is not. A

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