Prolific author Belva Plain turns her discerning attention once more to the complexity of the human condition in Fortune
. High-powered lawyer Robb McDaniel learns too late that dreams are more easily lost than won, and that life sometimes takes on a complexion all of its own, when he pursues and achieves "success," as measured by standards not his own or his family's. Along the way, Robb indelibly touches other lives: Lily, his high-school sweetheart and former fiancée; Ellen, his estranged wife who is in love with another man; and Julie, his daughter who has grown up before Robb realized what was happening. For Belva Plain fans, the sometimes-unlikely dialogue fails to detract from the message of a life gone astray. In truth, Plain's painfully literal plot reminds us all to remain vigilant, to continually monitor the progress and process of our lives, else we wake one day to find it and ourselves unrecognizable. --Alison Trinkle
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From Publishers Weekly
Plain adroitly crafts bestsellers (Homecoming, Secrecy, Promises, etc.), lacing modern morality tales with current issues and old-fashioned melodrama, often creating emotionally resilient, believable characters, and sometimes generating clich?s just to smooth the path to true love. Her latest effort starts off predictably as earnest young Robb MacDaniel leaves his loyal fianc?e, Lily, in the small Southern town where they grew up, in order to pursue a law degree, using insurance money from an accident that has killed his parents. In the big city, Robb falls for Ellen, the Wellesley-educated daughter of local legal icon Wilson Grant. Marrying Ellen, Robb firmly steps up the ladder of success, casting off ideals, as he cast off Lily, at each rung. Robb's professional rise and moral descent drive him to increasingly desperate acts, but he doesn't allow his struggles with regret to thwart his ambition. Plain keeps the tissue count low in this tearjerker by focusing on RobbAalthough her sympathies are clearly with the long-suffering women who love him. Because of the novel's New South location and legal-ethics theme, it occasionally seems to misstep into Grisham territory. Plain is much surer on domestic ground, such as when she unravels the family secrets and emotions surrounding Robb and Ellen's retarded son. Unsentimental supporting characters (Lily's mom, Robb's best friend) also help make this one of her most convincing tales of personal choice and human weakness.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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