Lives of Value

Sharleen Cooper Cohen, Author Warner Books $19.95 (466p) ISBN 978-0-446-51588-7
Set in 1976 Los Angeles, this consistently absorbing drama combines a dramatic family saga with a suspenseful mystery. The author of Marital Affairs weaves (sometimes confusingly) between past and present to trace the history of the Blackers, a tighly knit Jewish clan. Father Burt is a theatrical agent; mother Lynnette, an aspiring photographer. The story focuses on the relationship between their two daughters: Suzanne, now a divorced mother of three and a successful writer of popular fiction, and Steffani, a survivor of the hippie era struggling against the severe problems caused by Gaucher's disease, a chronic, painful and progressive liver disorder. The sisters are close, and the early resentment Suzanne felt at the intrusion of Steffani's illness has been replaced by tenderness and a fierce loyalty. Now Suzanne faces a major threat to her career and to the stability of her own family. Someone has accused her of plagiarism, and in a further move, has framed her for an attempted murder. Tantalizing clues to the identity of this malefactor are periodically laced into the narrative. Although some of the characters are thinly drawn (the loathsome former husband; his witchlike sister; saintly, long-suffering Lynnette) the novel as a whole is a vivid page-turner. 25,000 first printing; optioned for TV by Grossbart Productions. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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