Looking Back

Looking Back

by Belva Plain
3.9 11

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Looking Back by Belva Plain

New York Times bestselling author Belva Plain goes to the heart of what it means to be a woman, a wife, and a friend, in her powerful new novel—a story of love and betrayal that measures the limits of loyalty, friendship, and forgiveness.

They met at school and have been inseparable ever since: Cecile, confident, elegant daughter of privilege; Norma, extraordinarily gifted and sadly troubled; and beautiful, ambitious Amanda, determined to rise above her humble southern beginnings. Two are married. One despairs of ever finding love. Three women. Leading their busy adult lives. Yet first and always: friends.

Then something unexpected happens that forever alters their long, complicated friendship. A pivotal event, a shattering act of betrayal shifts the balance of power between husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers. And in the months that follow, each of them will look at their families, their lives--and one another--differently.

And none of them will ever be the same.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440235774
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/2002
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 661,126
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.87(h) x 1.03(d)

About 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 Hardcover edition.

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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Looking Back 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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BuffaloGal More than 1 year ago
I think Belva Plain has hit a new low. I'd expect this plot from a summer sizzler pocket book, but not from a writer of her quality. The "romance" was not so much romance as it was tinctilating. The women were caricatures, not women. The men, ditto. And the writing style? OK if directed toward 12 year olds, but again, not for devoted adult followers of this fine writer. Hopefully she was just having a bad year. For good Belva Plain try Evergreen, or Random Winds .....or a real, heartfelt romance by Deborah Smith, called A Place to Call Home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is hard to believe that Belva Plain is truly the author of this book. There is little development of the characters and their relationships. The motives for Amanda's and Norma's bad choices are very shallow. I kept reading the book hoping it would deepen but was disappointed to the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is one of the best I have read in a very long time. I started it and finished it all in one day. It was not possible for me to put it down. The characters were so wonderful and complex, yet they still appealed to you. I finished the book with so many emotions running in my head. I just cannot tell you how great the book was to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book with a great story line but it is a bit depressing. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Norma and Cecile come from wealth with their families knowing one another for years. On the other hand, Amanda has lived her entire life being dirt poor. Only an academic scholarship allows her to attend the same university as Norma and Cecile. The three becomes college roommates and ultimately friends for life in spite of Amanda¿s background.

After graduation, the trio moves on with their lives, but remain friends. Over time, Norma believes Amanda is perfect for her older brother and dreams of the two of them falling in love with one another. However, not everyone in Norma¿s circle accepts white trash, albeit educated, like Amanda. Betrayal between friends and treachery between families and loved ones will soon test the strengths and weaknesses of the friendships.

Plain speaking, very few authors have the ability to develop complete characters for a wide ensemble cast while maintaining a strong story line. Belva Plain consistently furnishes her fans with deep characters involved in complex relationships inside real plots. Her latest relationship drama, LOOKING BACK, does all that and more as the inner thoughts and ambitions of the three friends are exposed with their deep-rooted values betrayed. Ms. Plain provides her readers with another intricate look at the human condition.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
For these three friends, love, family ties, betrayal and loyalty all become part of daily life. The readers will find themselves engrossed in clever plots and amazing innocents. The twists and turns in Belva Plain's newest novel are surprising. The loveless marriage and the complete betrayal of everything and everyone will expose the three friends to their innermost feelings about themselves. The dynamics of ambition and betrayal are stunning.