Saffron Skies

Saffron Skies

4.5 2
by Lesley Lokko
     
 

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From Lesley Lokko, an outstanding new voice in women's fiction, comes a story of family, love, grief, and power . . .

In this sweeping family saga, Amber Sall has the world on a platter---everything a girl could ever want. She has a handsome, powerbroker father, an older brother she adores, scads of money, and two best friends, Becky and Madeline. But none of

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Overview

From Lesley Lokko, an outstanding new voice in women's fiction, comes a story of family, love, grief, and power . . .

In this sweeping family saga, Amber Sall has the world on a platter---everything a girl could ever want. She has a handsome, powerbroker father, an older brother she adores, scads of money, and two best friends, Becky and Madeline. But none of that satisfies her lifelong desire to win her father's love, and for success in a career on the basis of her own talents, not her family's power and money. Watching her beloved brother fail both tests only makes Amber more determined to succeed. Through the decades, she and Becky and Madeline need each other's support through the best and the worst that women can experience, but can their friendship survive?

Max Sall, Amber's father, is a distant, self-made man, whose lust for power comes from his tragic childhood. He drove Amber's society mother to alcoholism by openly keeping a mistress in Rome. His daughter with that mistress, Paola Rossi, is spoiled by her mother. She grows up to be a beautiful, glamorous member of the international jet set, yet she is still envious of everything Amber has, and determined to do what her mother never could: get a man to marry her. But when Paola finally marries, the result is more disastrous than she ever could have dreamed.

Moving easily from London to Africa, Bosnia to New York, Saffron Skies is an unforgettable story of wealth, ambition, family, friendship, passion, loyalty, and betrayal.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The power of friendship and love prevail against unlikely odds in Lokko's overstuffed, globe-trotting family epic. The saga, which begins in 1972 London, primarily focuses on lonely Amber Sall and her friends, artistically gifted Becky Aldridge and poor, intelligent Madeline Szabo. Amber yearns for the approval of her illustrious father, Max, but he's too occupied with his work and second family in Rome to notice. Amber's half-sister, the gorgeous Paola, grows into a vixen, and the two compete over everything, including, eventually, Tend Ndiaye, a West African business associate of their father. Years blur together as Amber and friends embark on their own lives, rarely making contact with one another aside from infrequent visits; Madeline becomes a doctor, Becky finds work in a gallery and Amber becomes a journalist before marrying Tend . Paola never outgrows her licentiousness, and it proves, predictably, to be her undoing. Political strife in Mali, meanwhile, portends possible disaster for Tend , but help from an unexpected source saves the day. Stilted pacing slows an already meandering plot, though the few surprise turns should keep readers going. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This addictive page-turner takes us into the lives of three young girls and whisks us through years of their experiences into adulthood. Best friends Amber, Becky, and Madeline are entirely different from one another. But while they have their problems, they also share a strong bond. Lokko's (Sundowners) saga also introduces us to the fascinating Max, the megarich patriarch of two families, one in England (he is Amber's father) and one in Italy (he is also the father of the beautiful and glamourous Paola Rossi). Both families know about each other, and the media know as well, which adds to the dysfunctional problems of these characters. A lot of issues are covered here drug and alcohol dependency, infidelity, race, and class but Lokko's great character development and exciting plot keep us entranced to the end. For libraries where Judith Kranz is popular. Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A family saga spanning three continents and 30 years. Self-made tycoon Max Sall has created two European families as disastrous and dysfunctional as his business empire is prosperous. In Rome, Max's beautiful mistress Francesca dreams that their illegitimate daughter Paola will grow up to marry well. In London, wife Angela communicates with only the maids and her bottle of brandy, while son Kieran steals thousands of pounds to support his heroin habit. The most promising member of the Sall family is Max and Angela's ambitious, headstrong daughter Amber, who craves a normal family life. Lokko (Sundowners, not reviewed) follows all of the above, as well as Amber's best friends Becky and Madeline, for nearly three decades as they travel the world and find themselves entangled in drugs, money, politics, illness and even incest. Amber becomes a journalist and takes a professional and personal interest in a project her father is pursuing in Mali. Becky, a middling London artist, breaks off her engagement and follows her boyfriend (Amber's ex) to Zimbabwe, where she finds meaning in a business project but then is savagely raped. Madeline, a doctor mourning the sudden loss of her first love, goes to war-torn Sarajevo and then to New York, where she marries and has a son. In one of the only moments that unite Max's two families, Kieran and Paola collaborate on a nightclub venture, which ends in calamity. Half-sisters and archrivals Amber and Paola both end up in Africa married to prominent international figures, but while Amber becomes the first lady of Mali, Paola disgraces herself by having an illegitimate child. The author gives even minor characters lengthy backstories in this saga; it becomesexhausting, but Lokko manages to weave everything together competently enough. Longwinded, but ultimately satisfying.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781582881690
Publisher:
Book-of-the-Month Club
Publication date:
01/01/2005
Pages:
613

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