WRITTEN ON THE WIND

Judith Pella, Author
Judith Pella, Author . Bethany House $16.99 (384p) ISBN 0-7642-2608-8 ISBN 0-7642-2421-2
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A bestselling inspirational fiction author kicks off her Daughters of Fortune series with this historical romance braiding together the stories of three adult sisters living in California on the eve of World War II. It's no accident that Cameron, Blair and Jackie have masculine names: their daddy, Keagan Hayes, is the overbearing, no-nonsense publisher of the Los Angeles Journal, and he wanted sons to carry on his dynasty. As his daughters strike out on their own, they find their father's habitual lack of attention and affection sending their lives careening in different directions. Capable Cameron strives to win her father's respect by taking a job as foreign correspondent with the Globe, a rival newspaper; the lovely Blair rebels by making as many male conquests as possible; and Jackie seeks her father's love by playing it straight as the good girl. Unfortunately, Blair's alcoholic descent as a seedy nightclub singer and her subsequent marriage built on lies are difficult to believe, as is her mother Cecilia's secret past. Jackie's romance with Asian student Sam Okuda is only lightly developed, but is one of the most promising story lines for the series. The novel is overlong at almost 400 pages, and a ruthless edit might have made for a tighter, better-paced read. It offers some humorous touches and fine descriptive detail, though Pella spends too much time telling rather than showing. The numerous loose ends left dangling will keep her many CBA fans interested in forthcoming installments. (Jan.)

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