cover image Treasures


Belva Plain. Delacorte Press, $21 (418pp) ISBN 978-0-385-29927-5

Bestseller Plain's ( Harvest ) fast, absorbing family saga makes hay with the scandals and excesses that have prompted the latest backlash against Wall Street. As it opens, the three Osborne siblings are burying their poor but decent mother in their native Ohio. Lara, married to her high school sweetheart, embraces the old-fashioned values of hearth and home. Eddy and Connie, on the other hand, hanker after glamour and glitter. Connie heads for Texas, where she strikes pay dirt in the form of a kind and well-to-do husband; when the marriage fails, it's through no one's fault, and she ends up with one of Wall Street's wealthiest wizards. Eddy, gone to Manhattan, eventually starts his own brokerage firm, where he moves from questionable tax shelters and leveraged buyouts to insider trading and fraud. Lara and her husband attain a more modest degree of success--until they take advice from Eddy. If Plain uses a sledgehammer to drive home the worn but comforting notion that the real ``treasures'' in life are love and good health, her ultimately sweet story nonetheless serves up enough conflicts, twists and moments of truth to grip her audience. (Mar.)