cover image THREE FATES


Nora Roberts, , read by Bernadette Quigley. . Brilliance, $34.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-58788-693-5

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FictionTHREE FATESNora Roberts, read by Bernadette Quigley. Brilliance, unabridged, 10 cassettes, 14 hrs., $34.95 ISBN 1-58788-693-6

This book—Roberts's fifth new one released this year—features all the romance, drama and intrigue that fans have come to expect from the bestselling writer. It also offers a bit more: clichéd characters (e.g., a rough-talking, street-smart stripper; a reclusive alcoholic brainiac) and well-trod ground (e.g., a grand-scale shipwreck and the international art scene). Despite a predictable plot—involving the Sullivan family and their quest to find a small silver figurine that belonged to their ancestors and narrowly escaped sinking with the Lusitania in 1915—reader Quigley triumphs to make this a winning production. Her performance rings with subtle nuances, accents ranging from Czech to Irish, and theatrical crescendos and decrescendos. The story opens just before the Lusitania meets its fate, and Quigley draws listeners round with an ominous "happily unaware he'd be dead in 23 minutes, Henry W. Wiley imagined pinching the nicely rounded rump of the young blonde who was directly in his line of sight." In this scene and throughout the story, she puts herself inside each character, giving each one a unique mannerism, tone and feeling—no matter how formulaically Roberts may have drawn them. Quigley's presentation is captivating; Roberts's story, regrettably, is not quite. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Forecasts, Apr.1). (Apr.)