Barbara Kastelin takes us on a passionate exploration, spanning time and space – suburban Wiltshire in the 80s, the sewers below Bratislava, the Amazon rainforest, the post-war Lower East Side, an Austrian Schloss – as we watch Vivien walk in wonder … and fulfil her potential.
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The Parrot Tree tells the story of Vivien, a talented young Englishwoman in 1980’s suburbia who escapes the loveless marriage which suffocates her creativity, to find professional fulfilment and romance in Madison Avenue. It is also the story of Karl, a tortured genius who as a boy fled the Nazis in the sewers below Bratislava, became gardener to an Austrian baron, fathered a beautiful but illegitimate daughter, emigrated to New York in the 1950s, and eventually founded his own advertising agency. Karl’s project is the preservation of the rainforest. His deputy, Barney, employs Vivien to assist in the location-shoot in the headwaters of the Amazon: part-paradise, part-nightmare. The model on the shoot is Leandra, Karl’s temperamental daughter. The ancient forest has powers over mankind. The filming in the jungle encounters obstacles, greater even than Leandra and her tantrums. Despite this, a love affair with Barney blossoms amidst parrots, butterflies and passion flowers. However, deep secrets rise to the surface at the death of the Baron von Keyserling when his will cannot be found. Who will inherit the estate? What tortured road had led the Baron from war-torn Czechoslovakia to fame? And how does it shape Vivien’s destiny? The author’s personal experiences of the rainforest, of Austrian mansions, of Madison Avenue, all find their authentic expression. There is passion, an attempted murder, and political insight. The result is a rich blend of human behaviour and emotions as they come together in a novel which moves, shocks and convinces. This beautifully crafted tale will appeal to all fans of romance and adventure novels.
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