cover image Up Close and Personal

Up Close and Personal

Fern Michaels, . . Kensington, $19.95 (309pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-1271-9

In Michaels’s fable-like latest, wicked South Carolina heiress Sarabess Windsor must face the fallout of a decision she made 30 years ago: when her beloved daughter was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness, doting Sarabess hatched a plan to bear another child solely as a source of bone marrow for little Emily. Donor daughter Trinity, unaware of her parentage, spent her childhood in closely monitored foster care, but forced, like the other children in town, to fawn endlessly over Emily, whose life is extended 13 years by her sister’s cells. When Trinity runs away at 15, Sarabess makes sure no one tries to find her, but hapless father Harold, on his deathbed, sets up a trust for Trinity to claim on her 30th birthday. Several months before that day, Sarabess begins to try to finagle the funds for her own use. While Sarabess is without any redeeming qualities, her Trinity is anything but. Readers will root for the plucky heroine and her childhood friend Jake (a lawyer, natch). The finale’s shocking revelations are just that, as Michaels, who was written more than 80 novels, somehow does it again. (Aug.)