Belva Plain s first novel, EVERGREEN, was published in 1978 and became an international bestseller. She has since entranced a worldwide audience with fourteen more bestsellers. She lives in northern New Jersey.
Dana Ivey reads clearly and convincingly this sprawling novel tracing the long lives of two stepsisters who escape from Germany during the Nazi era. They settle in a small town in western New York, where they quickly become part of the community. Caroline, the youngest, pregnant by a German whom she believes jilted her, forges a new life, complete with a husband, two daughters, and a thriving restaurant business. Lore, the elder, resumes her nursing career and serves as beloved sister/aunt to the family. But setbacks occur, and the revelation of a secret deception provides a surprise ending. Plain, with 15 best sellers including Crescent City (Audio Reviews, LJ 6/15/92, and Treasures (Audio Reviews, LJ 5/15/92) to her credit, has attempted an epic spanning three generations. However, this abridged version feels segmented and superficial, never fully engaging readers in the characters' lives. The tape quality, however, is excellent. Devotees of Plain will enjoy the book. Recommended for public libraries.‘Nancy R. Ives, SUNY at Geneseo