Biscayne

Barry Jay Kaplan, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (429p) ISBN 978-0-671-62535-1
The most memorable character in this sporadically interesting generational saga is the city of Miami at the turn of the century. As its streets change from jungle trails to macadam, a classic power struggle is played out by the Reade family. When young widow Clara Reade returns to her girlhood home in a frontier settlement on Biscayne Bay, she views the dense mangrove swamps and uncultivated citrus groves as a challenge to her business acumen. With her beloved son Harry working at her side, Clara manages to exploit the potential of her unpromising acreage by persuading a railroad magnate to extend his freight line to the bay in return for a whopping share of land. In doing so, she opens wide the sluice gates of progress, hurting Harry, who loves an Indian woman whose tribe is being forced off the land, and ruining Quentin, a rough but loving friend. Only her bitter grandson Cameron applauds the gutting of old Miami to make way for a glittering new city. Kaplan, coauthor of Black Orchard , does not develop the psychological nuances that could animate this familiar cast. Instead, he bends the events of their lives around chunks of Miami history. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-7432-1069-0
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