Loyalties

Julie Ellis, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (478p) ISBN 978-0-688-08845-3
The only fresh aspect of this tiresome and superficial novel is its backdrop--the timber industry. Otherwise, Ellis ( A Daughter's Promise ) merely supplies well-worn elements of commercial fiction, including a wealthy clan torn by feuds, a lovely but heartless jet-setter, broken marriages, elegant galas and plenty of heated confrontations. Upon her deathbed in San Francisco, timber tycoon Naomi Miller announces the unusual terms of her will: 90% of the Miller Timber company stock will be held in escrow for Naomi's grandniece, Anne Forrest, and her great-granddaughter, Felicia Harris. Before dividing the stock equally, they must complete a rigorous 20-year ``internship'' learning the business from Naomi's son, Douglas. If either woman backs out prematurely, both will forfeit the huge inheritance. Goodhearted and meek, Georgia native Anne immediately encounters hostility from her West Coast relatives, especially spoiled, hedonistic Felicia, who is determined to run Miller Timber herself. Conservation idealist Anne keeps battling her ruthlessly pragmatic rival; their skirmishes are overshadowed by heavy-handed environmental sermonizing, descriptions of Felicia's glitzy lifestyle and hefty doses of soap-opera pathos. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-8217-3179-6
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