Alice in Exile by Piers Paul Read
This wonderful novel, set in England and Russia at the time of the Great War, tells the story of Alice Fry - an independent woman in a world ruled by men - and the two men who love her. In 1913, Alice meets Edward Cobb, eligible young son of a baronet, at an avant-garde party in Chelsea. They fall in love and get engaged, but Edward's family thinks Alice 'fast'. When Alice's father becomes involved in a sexual scandal, Edward has to choose between Alice and his political career. He breaks off the engagement, not knowing that Alice is expecting his child. Desperate, Alice accepts the offer of a rich Russian, Baron von Rettenberg, to go to Russia as a governess for his children, while Edward enters an unhappy marriage. Alice gives birth to a son and yearns for Edward though the Baron von Rettenburg loves her. The Great War takes its terrible toll and the Russian Revolution explodes. Trapped by the Red Army in the Black Sea port of Novorossiik, Alice, her son and Rettenberg are saved by a member of the British Military Mission - Edward Cobb.