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In her novel Looking Back, New York Times bestselling author Belva Plain poses the question, Can friendships forged during the idyllic years of college stand the test of time--and betrayal? Recent college graduates and former roommates, classy Cecile, brainy Norma, and ambitious Amanda find their lives intimately entwined when Amanda marries Norma's older brother, Larry, to escape the unrelenting poverty of her family and the total lack of opportunities in the small southern town where she grew up. But their lives will never be the same once Amanda begins a passionate affair with her father-in-law, the cold and commanding L.B. No one escapes unscathed after Amanda confesses all, including the identity of her son's father, at a party, and Norma attempts to boost her heartbroken brother's career at the expense of Cecile's architect husband. This is Belva Plain at her twisted best, providing a bird's-eye view of the sometimes murky lives of ordinary people. If you're looking for a happy ending tied up in a pretty bow, rather than the drama that average lives occasionally take on, Looking Back and Belva Plain in general may not be for you. Loyal fans, however, will thrill to wallow once again in a world only Plain could create. --Alison Trinkle --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
What begins as an engaging story about three college roommates brainy Norma, lovely Amanda, preppy Cecile and their differing futures takes a bewildering turn in Plain's latest domestic saga. When the three women graduate, Amanda, desperate to escape her lower-class background, marries Larry Balsan, Norma's brother, who is in the family real estate business. As Mrs. Balsan, she can shop to her heart's content, but she soon realizes she is not as happy as Cecile, who marries her college sweetheart, or even Norma, who is biding her time until she meets Mr. Right. So far so good, but the plot is thrown off kilter when Amanda and her aloof, widower father-in-law inexplicably tumble into an affair. The awkwardness of such a union bleeds into the prose, and Plain is unable to make the twist work there is no satisfying tension or electricity between Amanda and L.B., as he is known, so their passionate affair rings false. Plain (Fortune's Hand, etc.) compounds the problems with her plot by turning the steadfast Norma into a conniving schemer who, out of misguided loyalty to her brother, undermines Cecile's husband. The flowing story line, neatly resolved problems and intriguing exploration of family relationships that readers have come to expect from Plain are absent here.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
This book was excellent. It touched on some very sad issues. But some of these things may very well hurt close friends and family. Read morePublished on July 18 2004 by Lorraine Brown
The story is kind of original, the ending is not a happy ending, therefore , we could say that it is kind of original for a novel. Read morePublished on July 2 2004
I was skeptical when I started this that I would like it at all, I figured it wouldn't be as engaging, however I wound up being drawn into the story and ended up loving it a lot! Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by Camille Davenport
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.Published on Aug. 24 2002
A definate page turner, I did not guess the ending correctly at all! The author skillfully weaves the stories of these three friends and thier marriages. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2002
The author must be using a ghost writer these days. The book was not anywhere near the quality of past books. Characters were shallow and scenes were redundant. Read morePublished on July 17 2002 by Alison R. Lee
I personally thought that the book was great once I got past the first couple of chapters. I was able to see the events in my mind as Belva Plain described the scenes behind the... Read morePublished on July 7 2002 by J. Kirkman
hated the end. The final 50 pages or so were just awful in my opinion. I was following the story, although I didn't really strongly like or identify with any individual... Read morePublished on June 26 2002