The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Nora Roberts explores compelling connections between past and present in Birthright. When a construction worker discovers evidence of an ancient settlement in a small Blue Ridge Mountain community, archaeologist Callie Dunbrook is eager to start digging…even though it means working with her handsome ex-husband, Jake. When a local businesswoman claims that Callie is the child who was stolen from her in infancy, both the allure of the ancient past and violent disputes over development plans for the site are cast in stark relief. But Callie's determination to uncover the long-buried truth soon proves dangerous to her work, to her friends, to the strangers who are bound to her by blood, and to the beloved couple she always believed to be her parents. Nora Roberts has a matchless ability to blend romance and suspense, and this gift is on full display in Birthright. Sue Stone
Set in and around rural Woodsboro, Md., a small town drawn with affection and familiarity, Roberts's latest is the literary equivalent of a big delicious meal whipped up by a talented home cook. She offers a dash of exoticism and innovation-a Neanderthal settlement is discovered on the site of an unwanted housing development, prompting gorgeous young archeologist Callie Dunbrook to race to Woodsboro to take charge of what promises to be the dig of her career. After dollops of detail about archeological work, Roberts dishes up huge servings of comfort food, and it is all the more satisfying for being so straightforward. When the owner of the Antietam Creek development turns up murdered on the site, Callie is thrown into closer contact than she'd like with her ex-husband, who also happens to be the anthropologist sharing responsibility for the dig. Jacob Greystone is a hunk-"long bones, long muscles, all covered in bronzed skin...." Meanwhile, Suzanne Cullen, the hugely successful proprietor of a Mrs. Field's-like baked-goods business, tracks down the archeologist after seeing her on the evening news. Callie, the woman claims, is the baby daughter who was snatched from her stroller when she was just a few months old. Callie hires a beautiful young lawyer, Lana Campbell, who happens to be involved with Doug Cullen, Callie's long-lost brother. Another murder, arson and attempted murder heat up the chase until all the young lovers are drawn in. As in other delectable entertainments by Roberts, it is not the wild denouement but the pursuit itself-studded with scrumptious romantic encounters-that is the real dessert. Expect the usual huge sales. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Archaeologist Callie Dunbrook believes she is responsible for bringing the past to life. So when she is confronted with her own possible past, she approaches the mystery the same way she would her work: she digs. The suspicion that she may not be Callie Dunbrook rocks her world. When people start dying, she must discover if the truth is always worth unearthing. Unfortunately, narrator Bernadette Quigley is not up to the task of bringing this novel's subtleties to life. She has one male voice-deep, gruff, and ancient, hardly ex-husband and hero material. She is also so focused on her diction that each word is given equal weight, making a mockery of the actual tone of the story. A solid work that deserves airplay even with a subpar narration; Roberts is too popular not to purchase.-Jodi L. Israel, MLS, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Archaeologist finds a lost tribe: hers. Callie Dunbrook goes up against developer Ron Dolan, whose housing project has come to a halt because a bulldozer uncovered human remains. Though the site is near Antietam, Maryland, the bones predate the Civil War by thousands of years and are most likely from the burial ground of an unknown Neolithic tribe. The authorities force Dolan to lay off his crew, whose workboots and carelessness have already contaminated the site, before more damage is done. An excavation is planned, a process that will take months. So Callie makes the local newsand her face is seen by Suzanne Cullen, who’s sure that Callie’s triple dimples are identical to those of her long-lost baby girl. The sleeping infant was snatched from her stroller at a shopping mall only a few days after Callie was born, and, paying an unexpected visit, Suzanne insists that Callie is her child. Knowing that Suzanne is the CEO of a national firm reassures Callie that the woman is not a crankthough wrong. But a peek into a desk at her parents’ house uncovers adoption papers dated two months after her mother’s devastating miscarriage and a few days after little Jessica Cullen disappeared. Callie confronts her parents, who fess up at last, though insisting that the adoption was perfectly legal. Marcus Carlyle, a distinguished Boston lawyer, had arranged everything. He couldn’t possibly be a baby-seller and certainly not a kidnapper. Or could he? Callie looks for clues, with the help of her sexy ex, Jake Graystone. The trail leads back to nosy Nurse Poffenberger, who tells all; and then to Richard Carlyle, Marcus’s equally distinguished son, who isn’t talking. The plot thickens, withsuspects appearingand supporting characters disappearingas fast as mechanical ducks in a shooting gallery. Improbable plot is kept humming smoothly by Roberts (Midnight Bayou, 2001, etc.), whose fans oughta love it.
“Pulls at the heartstrings.”—The Columbus Dispatch
“Another must-read by Nora Roberts…A healthy dose of intrigue [and] ahhh-inspiring romance.”—Grand Forks Herald
“Nora Roberts is one of America’s bestselling writers, and Birthright makes it obvious why…Entertaining.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“In a word, it’s awesome…The dialogue between Callie and Jake is smart, often humorous and fun.”—The State (Columbia, SC)
“The literary equivalent of a big delicious meal whipped up by a talented home cook. She offers a dash of exoticism and innovation…Satisfying.”—Publishers Weekly
“An electrifying story filled with danger, heartache, love, passion and murder. An amazingly intense and utterly gripping tale!”—RT Book Reviews