Books: The Unattainable

THE MERMAIDS (216 pp.)—Eva Boros —Farrar, Straus & Cudahy ($3.50).

This first novel is the year's most beautifully written love story. Set in Budapest in the lost era between the two world wars, it begins with a casual pickup on the Danube Corso and ends in heartbreak as poignant as the last act of Camille. The book, like the play, is about a girl with tuberculosis, but Author Boros' Dame aux Camélias is no languishing tragedienne drowning in a sea of self-sacrifice. Instead, young Lalla is self-sufficient, cheeky, preoccupied not with "how to live...

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