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by Belva Plain

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A story of family... the Osbornes -- two sisters and a brother -- united by family ties but split apart by different dreams. Lara, the happy young wife, longs for the family that will make her life whole. Connie, wild and lovely, is more like her brother Eddy -- bright, ambitious, and ready to seize all that life has to offer. A story of choices... Connie is


A story of family... the Osbornes -- two sisters and a brother -- united by family ties but split apart by different dreams. Lara, the happy young wife, longs for the family that will make her life whole. Connie, wild and lovely, is more like her brother Eddy -- bright, ambitious, and ready to seize all that life has to offer. A story of choices... Connie is looking for wealth -- to make or to marry. Lara, staying behind in a small Ohio town, finds everything she cherishes threatened by fate and by her own blind commitment. And Eddy, as Wall Street's "wonder boy," can make millions... if he ruthlessly uses his family and friends. A story of marriages... Lara's held together by devotion, Connie's shattered by infidelity and betrayal, and Eddy's rocked by shame and prison. Torn by conflicting loyalties, they are a family caught in the tides of scandal... and swept toward a fate where dreams may end or be born again...

"Gripping... a fast, absorbing family saga." -- Publisher's Weekly.

"Graceful... touching... Plain writes with authority and integrity." -- San Francisco Chronicle.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bestseller Plain's ( Harvest ) fast, absorbing family saga makes hay with the scandals and excesses that have prompted the latest backlash against Wall Street. As it opens, the three Osborne siblings are burying their poor but decent mother in their native Ohio. Lara, married to her high school sweetheart, embraces the old-fashioned values of hearth and home. Eddy and Connie, on the other hand, hanker after glamour and glitter. Connie heads for Texas, where she strikes pay dirt in the form of a kind and well-to-do husband; when the marriage fails, it's through no one's fault, and she ends up with one of Wall Street's wealthiest wizards. Eddy, gone to Manhattan, eventually starts his own brokerage firm, where he moves from questionable tax shelters and leveraged buyouts to insider trading and fraud. Lara and her husband attain a more modest degree of success--until they take advice from Eddy. If Plain uses a sledgehammer to drive home the worn but comforting notion that the real ``treasures'' in life are love and good health, her ultimately sweet story nonetheless serves up enough conflicts, twists and moments of truth to grip her audience. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Low blows from the high-finance, Wall Street greed-group (and groupies) nearly extinguish the togetherness of three Ohio siblings and families in this hortatory tale, a Plain Bonfire (here, more of a Bic-flick) of contemporary vanities. For the faithful readership, there are familiar goodies along with the uplift: meteoric rises to fortune, glamorous settings, and lots and lots of luxury. In 1976, gathered in the family home in a small Ohio town after their mother's death, are Lara, her husband Davey, sister Connie, and brother Eddy. But only Connie and Eddy suffer from little-town blues. Lara is devoted to Davey, who will eventually start his own factory making medical equipment, but she has one grief—they're childless. Meanwhile, Connie, in Houston and New York, and Eddy, on Wall Street, begin a rocket ascent. Connie marries nice, wealthy Richard (who has a sad secret), divorces, and then marries expansive, rich Martin. And Eddy, it seems, has a magic money-touch. (His library walls "of rich French boiserie were precious. The needlepoint rug was handmade. Above the fireplace...a Sargent?") But Eddy has also been dealing dirty and, with all good intentions, has put Davey's factory in jeopardy. Eddy is headed for a giant fall. Martin, too, is sure he's helping Davey by suggesting and aiding a takeover. On the domestic front, Lara's motherhood dreams come true, and Connie suffers a tragedy (although she makes "a stunning widow, slender in black with a single strand of eleven-millimeter pearls") before finding a lasting love. It all ends with the siblings and families reunited around a Thanksgiving table, the two high-flyers poorer but wiser. Plain's readership is foreordained.(Literary Guild Dual Selection for April)

From the Publisher
"Gripping... a fast, absorbing family saga." —  Publisher's Weekly.  

"Graceful... touching... Plain writes with authority and  integrity." — San Francisco  Chronicle.

Product Details

Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:

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
B.A., Barnard College

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can use one word to sum up this novel. Excellent!!!!!!!!! i could not put this book down. The charaters are unforgetable. Eddy, wanting to really be someone big in the fiance world does what he thinks is okay, because it is not hurting anyone begins to spin a web of decption. Lara and her husband is just happy with the way things are. They have the means to become very rich, but needs pushing by eddy to go after it. Connie on the other hand is just looking for real love. But at the same time, she has a taste for the finer things in life. Look where that ends up getting her. You will be on the edge of your seat for this page turner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book for summer reading!