Wednesday, December 3, 2008

86. Crossroads

By Belva Plain
Rated 2 Stars
Purchased in Train Station

Something to read on train.

Plain's tepid latest focuses on two women—privileged but plain Gwen Wright and beautiful but poor Jewel Fairchild. Their lives occasionally intersect, and eventually Jewel marries a wealthy man and discovers that money can't buy happiness. Gwen, meanwhile, marries a poor but honest man—but she still finds herself drawn to Jewel's husband, and the foursome is soon tangled in a web of deceit. Unfortunately, Jewel and Gwen don't evolve throughout the novel; Gwen is a character that some readers might find intolerably perfect—smart, privileged, shy, well-spoken, with simple needs and a tragic past—but any irritation that one might have with her is eliminated by the calculating and shallow Jewel, who is too pathetic to be a legitimate antagonist and too tragic to really be hated. It functions well as a simplistic morality tale.
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