New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky enchants readers with a poignant and unforgettable story of the enduring power of love and the tenacious strength of family, first published in 1994. Estranged sisters Caroline, Annette, and Leah St. Clair have spent their lives trying to escape the legacy of their wealthy, aloof, social-climbing mother, Virginia -- each losing a certain part of herself in the process. Now, on the eve of her seventieth birthday, Virginia has asked them all to help her get settled into her magnificent new estate on the rocky coast of Maine, a request each sister reluctantly agrees to, thinking it may be her mother's last. But it is Virginia who has something to give to the daughters she neglected in childhood. For amid the glories of a New England summer, three sisters will finally learn the answers to the questions that have troubled them for years . . . and new truths that will stay with them forever.
Bestselling romance author Delinsky ( Suddenly ) again proves herself an excellent storyteller in her hardcover debut, a thoroughly enjoyable weeper in which passion and family bonds are both victorious. Wealthy, widowed Philadelphia socialite Ginny St. Clair has always been cool and distant to her three daughters. The summer of her 70th birthday, she abruptly invites all of her offspring to help her settle into a mansion on the rocky Maine coast. Annette, the suffocatingly good mother of five; hard-edged Caroline, a hotshot Chicago lawyer; and Leah, the twice-divorced youngest sibling, arrive at the estate, each aghast to find the others--but their mother, by design, is not there. Though the three grimly assume battle positions, enforced proximity fosters grudging respect and finally love. For Leah, there's also a scalding affair with groundskeeper Jesse Cray, a wild echo of a romance that had flared half a century earlier between a gardener and the mistress of the house. Predictably, that woman was Ginny, who chose duty over love. Readers will enjoy the tart barbs flung by siblings whose animosities are well rendered, as well as the sparks that fly between Jesse and Leah. Clinically neat solutions to various problems and a few whacking credibility lapses hardly dent the novel's appeal. 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; audio to HarperAudio; author tour. (June) -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 31, 2005
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Excerpt from For My Daughters by Barbara Delinsky
The News Wasn't Good. Caroline St. Clair read the verdict on the jurors' faces well before it was passed to the judge. None of the twelve could look at her. Her client had been found guilty.
The rational part of her knew it was for the best. The man had kidnapped his ex-wife, held her hostage for three days, and repeatedly raped her. A respected state legislator with an otherwise spotless record, he would serve his term in the relative comfort of a federal prison, receive the psychiatric help he needed, and be paroled while he was still young enough to start again. In some regards an acquittal, which would have tossed him to the media and others bent on exploitation at a time when he was as bruised as his ex-wife, would have been more cruel.
But for Caroline each win was crucial. Wins generated renown, renown generated new cases, and new cases fattened the bottom line that was the obsession of the predominantly male partnership of Holten, Wills, and Duluth. Like so many of its kind, it had spent the better part of two decades in overextension, but while other firms folded, Holten, Wills, and Duluth clung to solvency. The cost was a fixation on cutting dead weight, limiting perks, and streamlining operations -- and a preoccupation with accounts receivable.
Caroline was one of the newer and, even at forty, younger partners. The future of the firm rested on her shoulders, lectured her older colleagues in the same breath that they grilled her on her billable hours. They didn't like sharing the wealth. Worse, they didn't like women. Caroline had to work twice as hard and be twice as good for the same recognition. She had to be more clever in the manipulation of legal theory, more aggressive negotiating with prosecutors, more effective with juries.
She had badly, badly needed this win.
"Tough break," said one of her fellow junior partners from the door of her office. "The press opportunities would have been good, what with your man's political connections. Now you get exposure for a loss."
Caroline shot him a look that might have been more stern had he been anyone else. But she and Doug had joined the firm at the same time, both lateral appointees, and though he had been named partner two years before her, she hadn't held it against him. She couldn't afford to. He was her strongest ally in the firm.
"Thanks," she drawled. "I needed that."