The Carousel

The Carousel

3.4 5
by Belva Plain
     
 

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In public, Oliver Grey is a devoted father, prominent public figure, humanitarian, and respected businessman. But in private, there's a much darker side to Oliver Grey; a side so dark that someone is driven to kill him...

Though the Greys appear to be an enviable upper class family, they are not without problems. Ian, the older son, is a womanizer and

Overview

In public, Oliver Grey is a devoted father, prominent public figure, humanitarian, and respected businessman. But in private, there's a much darker side to Oliver Grey; a side so dark that someone is driven to kill him...

Though the Greys appear to be an enviable upper class family, they are not without problems. Ian, the older son, is a womanizer and compulsive gambler; Clive, the younger son, is an odd man barely five feet tall with no life outside his work as an accountant; and Amanda, Oliver's niece, whom he raised after her parents died in a plane crash, has been twice divorced and has had a difficult life. Dan, Amanda's brother, is the only Grey who appears to have no problems—except with his six-year-old daughter Caroline, whose behavior reminds him more and more of his troubled sister Amanda.

The trouble had started with Oliver Grey's decision to divide his nationally known business, Grey's Food, among Ian, Clive, and Dan. Amanda, bitter about being left out of the business, arrives from California to straighten out her financial holdings in the company. On a visit to Ellen, Dan's wife, Amanda sees a silver carousel much like the one Oliver gave her when she was a child. Ellen says the carousel was a gift to Caroline from Oliver. Amanda breaks down and tells Ellen that Oliver had given her the carousel to keep her from telling the truth about the unspeakable things he had done to her. Ellen, horrified by this revelation, finally understands why her daughter has been acting so strangely and why a therapist had raised the possibility that Caroline may have been sexually abused. Ellen goes to Oliver Grey's home that evening to confront him. And when she leaves he is dead.

Belva Plain breaks new ground in this stunning new novel. A family drama with a strong strain of mystery, The Carousel confirms her standing as one of today's most compelling and popular writers.


From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Plain's latest mystery concerns business machinations, child molestation and murder within a powerful family. (May)
Library Journal
This new novel concerns a seemingly forthright family's dark secrets.
Kathy Broderick
When a family business passes from one generation to the next, a lot can happen. But in Plain's newest novel, office politics is just a subplot of the real drama that takes place after everyone goes home. Clive, a short and sickly bachelor, and Ian, his handsome lady-chasing brother, now run Grey Foods with their cousin Daniel. Clive is concerned about his future; Ian is flabbergasted over Clive's new bride; Daniel worries about the threat of selling the company; Daniel's wife, Sally, has the most to be worried about. She believes someone sexually molested their five-year-old daughter, and her search for who among her famous family could have done such a thing causes another tragedy. Sally's maternal feelings and natural instincts are the best part of this book, which is an unsubtle reworking of the family-secret-that's-been-buried-for-years theme. Plain tosses in a not very sophisticated murder-mystery angle, but her devoted readers will forgive her this indiscretion--and she has droves of readers, all of whom will be demanding this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307789457
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/06/2011
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
166,892
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Belva Plain captured readers' hearts with her first novel, Evergreen, which Delacorte published more than 30 years ago. It topped the New York Times best-seller list for 41 weeks and aired as an NBC-TV miniseries. In total, more than 20 of her books have been New York Times best sellers.

Before becoming a novelist,  Belva Plain wrote short stories for many major magazines, but taking care of a husband and three children did not give her the time to concentrate on the novel she had always wanted to write. When she looked back and said she didn't have the time, she felt as though she had been making excuses. In retrospect, she said, "I didn't make the time." But, she reminded us, during the era that she was raising her family, women were supposed to concentrate only on their children. Today 30 million copies of her books are in print.

A Barnard College graduate who majored in history,  Belva Plain enjoyed a wonderful marriage of more than 40 years to Irving Plain, an ophthalmologist. Widowed for more than 25 years, Ms. Plain continued to reside in New Jersey, where she and her husband had raised their family and which was still home to her nearby children and grandchildren until her death in October 2010.


From the Paperback edition.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 9, 1915
Date of Death:
October 12, 2010
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
Short Hills, New Jersey
Education:
B.A., Barnard College

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Carousel 3.4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hadn't read a Belva Plain book in quite a long time, and I definitely enjoyed seeing one I hadn't read in paperback. Her stories and characters are complex and multi-dimensional, and she crafts them so that they are not predictable, which is refreshing when reading fiction. I would definitely recommend this particular book to anyone who enjoys unraveling a good story.
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