Crossroads

Belva Plain, Author . Delacorte $26 (322p) ISBN 978-0-385-33684-0

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. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 10/06/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
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