Daybreak

Daybreak

4.5 12
by Belva Plain
     
 

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The doctor's office is cool, white, sterile. But the doctor's words are searing: blood tests prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Margaret and Arthur Crawfield's beloved, dying son is not their child. Now they must face Peter's death and the shock of having a son they have never met. Grieving, yet compelled, they begin a search that will tear two families

Overview

The doctor's office is cool, white, sterile. But the doctor's words are searing: blood tests prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Margaret and Arthur Crawfield's beloved, dying son is not their child. Now they must face Peter's death and the shock of having a son they have never met. Grieving, yet compelled, they begin a search that will tear two families apart.

Laura and "Bud" Rice share an elegant home and two children, brilliant, handsome Tom, and cherished, chronically ill eleven-year-old Timmy. But after nineteen years of marriage, Laura's respectable husband is a stranger—and the reason for Tom's escalating involvement with a group of campus bigots. Suddenly the Crawfields enter their lives and shatter their fragile world. As the Rices' quiet Southern town explodes with hate and violence, the two familes must embrace—or be destroyed by—the shattering truth.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fascinating...Belva Plain...has crafted a clever and intriguing tale of prejudice and human emotion."—East Tennessee Catholic
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A Southern couple struggles with the impending death of their son. (Apr.)
Stuart Whitwell
To be charitable, you don't really think about how weak everything in this book is until you've finished zipping through it at about 150 mph. It is then, when you sit back to ponder its you'd-better-not-be-anti-Semitic-because-you-might-be-Jewish-too message and your mind flashes back to the countless TV movies that treated with equal sensitivity and superficiality the burning issues of our day (rape, child-parent relationships, fatal diseases, prejudice, etc.), that you begin to wonder what the "superficial" aspect of this formula means. Does it mean, for instance, that the issue is being exploited for some other purpose? Does it mean that we, the readers or TV viewers, handle these issues better when we're not called on to actually "think"? Anyway, something like that seems to be going on in this story of Tom, the nice young man who grows up to be a bigot like his dad and even becomes, through his girlfriend, an ardent follower of a David Duke-style politician. What he doesn't know--at first--is that he was swapped at birth with a boy who dies of cystic fibrosis (on about page two of the novel) and that he is really Jewish. Fortunately, we know he's soft-hearted like his piano-teaching mother because he's so kind to his younger "brother," who also has cystic fibrosis. Tom's reaction to discovering the truth is self-hatred and denial until his girlfriend, a true anti-Semite, finds out, and then Tom becomes sensitive again. Tom's nazi father is, by the way, the cause of all this cystic fibrosis (irony of ironies), and is, of course, Southern. Tom's real, Jewish parents are intellectual and rich, his dreamy, piano-playing "mother" is destined to find a man as kindhearted as she. La, la, la; very predictable, pretty dumb.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440216810
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1995
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
420
Sales rank:
519,358
Product dimensions:
4.15(w) x 6.85(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile:
730L (what's this?)

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.

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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Daybreak 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nods and pads to leaders den
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bmamca36 More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I have read once before and found it still to be exceptionally good. Unfortunately, I did remember one major part but there were others that I didn't. It is not a predictable book. It is about two children switched at birth and the pain and joy that it brings both families. Well worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a great fan of Belva Plain's books and could hardly put this one down. The story touches your heart for all the characters as they face their own unique situations. Knowing this has happened to people, it makes it all the more touching. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Belva Plain book I ever read. I was 15 then, and now ten years later it still grips me. It is one of the most moving stories I have ever read in fiction.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book kept me going till the end and has many great twists and turns! I loved it and would recommend it to everybody!