All Manner of Riches

Mary Elmblad, Author Viking Books $18.95 (467p) ISBN 978-0-670-81274-5
This saga of a sharecropper's daughter introduces Cassie Taylor as a spindly half-starved child in the driest Dust Bowl days of Eastern Oklahoma. Raised by a grandmother who believed real security came only with owning land, Cassie overcomes the hardships of poverty, ignorance and molestation (at the hands of her half-brother) to marry Jimmy Steele, the ne'er-do-well scion of the region's leading family. She is never truly accepted and leaves him to begin a new life in Dallas, where hard work and innate intelligence lead first to a law degree, then to considerable wealth and respect in the community. Success and social acceptance, however, can't fill the emptiness at the heart of Cassie's lonely life. Through her old friend, Dixon, who is also Jimmy's brother, Cassie buys the land she grew up on; she and Dixon become lovers but the demands of both their careers are too strong to keep them together. Until, that is, Cassie discovers she is pregnant. More misunderstandings serve to keep the two apart a while longer, yet in the end, although she has suffered from her own failings as well as from others', Cassie basically has it all. Elmblad's plot has it all tooincest, a forced abortion, swindles, blackmail and a few sensitive men to offset the power-hungry and the dolts. While the regional aspect of the tale is compelling, Cassie herself is not revealed in enough depth to make her sorrows or her triumphs of lasting interest to a reader. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. (August 7)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
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