Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Review - Crossroads by Belva Plain

Belva Plain
Delacorte Press
ISBN- 0385336845
Cassie Wright never saw it coming. As owner of Wright Glassworks, the foremost company in a thriving New England town, Cassie’s life was quiet, focused on her work and home…until a tragic accident turns her carefully ordered world upside down. For there is a surviving child to think about—and Cassie must take in one-year-old Gwen, who has no one else to care for her. As the years pass, Cassie will raise Gwen as her own, and a little girl who lost everything will flourish in a world of privilege and opportunity.

Enter Jewel Fairbanks. Beautiful and conniving, Jewel will touch the lives of both Cassie and Gwen in powerful ways. From the moment they meet, Jewel envies Gwen, who seems to have everything Jewel wants. The two couldn’t be more different, but their lives will soon become inextricably intertwined. Both will marry—but to profoundly different men. For Gwen, it is honest, hardworking Stan who steals her heart; Jewel will set her sights on Jeff, a shrewd businessman who owns the company where Stan works.

But when Stan makes a shocking discovery on the job, relationships begin to shift and change...and soon a tangled drama of greed, jealousy, and betrayal will encircle both couples, as a chain reaction of unexpected events changes four lives forever—in ways they never could have foreseen.

The novel started out interestingly enough. Cassie, Gwen and Jewel, the three main women characters, are introduced in the first chapter itself. Cassie's remoteness, Gwen's discomfort in her own skin and Jewel's unbridled jealousy promise an interesting story. In that aspect, the book doesn't disappoint. Author Belva Plain knows how to beautifully blend in emotions and atmosphere and the result is a novel that appeals, to an extent. But there are a lot of cons that distract the readers.

I did feel that the novel meanders quite a bit and as a result, the story often loses its focus. Also, while the female characters are (somewhat) well-developed, the men are, in main, bystanders for the most part. The story is also as predictable as predictable can be and this took away my interest quite a bit.

In short, this book is a pleasant way to spend a wintry afternoon, but not a keeper in any sense.

Buy the Book - here.
Visit the Author's site - here.
Visit the Publisher - here.

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