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Heartwood: A Novel | [Belva Plain]

Heartwood: A Novel

Few authors have understood the tender intricacies of relationships better than the incomparable Belva Plain. For three decades her deeply moving epics have captivated the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere. Now, in her final novel, she comes full circle with the themes she took up in her very first work, Evergreen, bringing us this unforgettable story of family and friendship, love and marriage, the challenges of life and the true secret of happiness.
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Publisher's Summary

Few authors have understood the tender intricacies of relationships better than the incomparable Belva Plain. For three decades her deeply moving epics have captivated the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere. Now, in her final novel, she comes full circle with the themes she took up in her very first work, Evergreen, bringing us this unforgettable story of family and friendship, love and marriage, the challenges of life and the true secret of happiness.

Though Iris Stern considers herself a modern woman, with a successful academic career and a happy marriage, she still holds steadfast to her old-fashioned sensibilities. But as the mother of three adult children, each with their own lives and burdens to bear, she often finds those sensibilities called into question when confronted with the choices her children have made.

For one of Iris's daughters, it's the choice of a fresh start in New York City - and a last chance to save her troubled marriage. While Laura and Robbie cope with an impending separation and its effect on Iris's young granddaughter, Iris herself must come to grips with the discovery of a long-held family secret. But it's an emotional parting of another kind that looms most prominently on Iris's horizon as neither her beloved husband, nor the solidity of her own marriage, is immune to the ravages of time.

Through separations and reunions, the changes we cannot avoid and the love that sustains, Iris will weather whatever lies ahead with a faith that cannot be shaken. Like the inmost rings of a tree that abide through the generations, she will be as strong as heartwood.

©2011 Belva Plain (P)2011 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Belva Plain doesn’t know how not to write a best seller.” (Newsday)

“Belva Plain is in a class by herself.” (The New York Times)

“[Plain] offers . . . compelling stories about women coping with life’s crises.” (People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (18 )
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3.0 (6 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brenda Miller 02-20-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    2
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    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    "Predictable and antiquated."

    I used to be an avid fan of Belva Plain. I cannot believe I've grown so old as to wonder why. It seems that I've grown up and she has not kept up. Though the heritage and time line she writes about are completely familiar to me, I wonder what she thinks she's adding to our information or entertainment data base or any part of the literary scene with this cliched book. I cannot believe I listened to the very end hoping I'd be wrong.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Fairbrother Boyertown, PA United States 10-21-13
    Laura Fairbrother Boyertown, PA United States 10-21-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OK story, not a fan of the characters"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes - easy to start and stop.


    Would you recommend Heartwood to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes - nice story about family but characters seem a bit shallow.


    What didn’t you like about Karen White’s performance?

    Too monitone, reading seemed choppy.


    Was Heartwood worth the listening time?

    Yes but only if you get it for free/credit.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my first Belva Plain book so maybe she has others that build the characters more and where they don't seem so superficial.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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