By Belva Plain
(Dell, Mass Market Paperback, 9780440216810, 448pp.)
Publication Date: March 1, 1995
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The doctor's office is cool, white, sterile. But the doctor's words are searing: blood tests prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Margaret and Arthur Crawfield's beloved, dying son is not their child. Now they must face Peter's death and the shock of having a son they have never met. Grieving, yet compelled, they begin a search that will tear two families apart.
Laura and "Bud" Rice share an elegant home and two children, brilliant, handsome Tom, and cherished, chronically ill eleven-year-old Timmy. But after nineteen years of marriage, Laura's respectable husband is a stranger—and the reason for Tom's escalating involvement with a group of campus bigots. Suddenly the Crawfields enter their lives and shatter their fragile world. As the Rices' quiet Southern town explodes with hate and violence, the two familes must embrace—or be destroyed by—the shattering truth.
Belva Plain captured readers' hearts with her first novel, Evergreen, which Delacorte published more than 30 years ago. It topped the New York Times best-seller list for 41 weeks and aired as an NBC-TV miniseries. In total, more than 20 of her books have been New York Times best sellers.
Before becoming a novelist, Belva Plain wrote short stories for many major magazines, but taking care of a husband and three children did not give her the time to concentrate on the novel she had always wanted to write. When she looked back and said she didn't have the time, she felt as though she had been making excuses. In retrospect, she said, "I didn't make the time." But, she reminded us, during the era that she was raising her family, women were supposed to concentrate only on their children. Today 30 million copies of her books are in print.
A Barnard College graduate who majored in history, Belva Plain enjoyed a wonderful marriage of more than 40 years to Irving Plain, an ophthalmologist. Widowed for more than 25 years, Ms. Plain continued to reside in New Jersey, where she and her husband had raised their family and which was still home to her nearby children and grandchildren until her death in October 2010.
"Fascinating...Belva Plain...has crafted a clever and intriguing tale of prejudice and human emotion."—East Tennessee Catholic