Books by Jane Boyar

Invisible Scars by Jane Boyar
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2012

In this novel, a beautiful, wealthy Texas woman falls in love with a married member of Spanish nobility.
America Jane Harvey, a tall Texan, is being detained by Spanish authorities, with plenty of time to contemplate the last 12 years of her life—"From castles in Spain to a Spanish prison." The novel then examines the choices that led her there. After her young child died in 1971, America escaped into her work as a professional jet pilot. She built up a courier service into a thriving business and, in Spain to attend her best friend's wedding, met Alfonso, the Duke of the Castle of Tarifa. A respected banker with a wife and eight children, Alfonso explained that his was a marriage of convenience, and he and America began a passionate affair. The Boyars (co-authors Yes I Can: The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr., 2012, etc.) describe Alfonso's background, his trauma suffered in the Spanish Civil War and the development of the couple's affair against the backdrop of developments in post-Franco Spain, including some legal shenanigans having to do with moving cash out of the country. The sympathies here tend to be reactionary: "[T]here was no drug problem in Spain because of a mandatory throw-away-the-key seven years in prison for anyone caught entering the country with even one marijuana cigarette," the Boyars note rather approvingly. They also discuss Spanish court protocol with respect: Spanish society members "were all Grandees, almost two hundred of them, Dukes and Duchesses because Dukedoms automatically carried grandeza, plus various Barons, Counts and Marquis whose titles had been given grandeza by the King who had bestowed them. The table seating was always according to Court Protocol, the importance and age of a title being the arbiter." For some readers, the obsession with status, money and power will be tiresome, while others will enjoy the wish-fulfillment aspects of America's and Alfonso's lifestyles in the 1 percent.

A tale of surviving and prospering amid the hardships of fortune. Read full book review >
Released: May 2, 1989

Simply tremendous smash follow-up to Davis and the Boyars' big-selling Yes, I Can (1965), and a magnificent recovery from the limp Hollywood in a Suitcase (1980), which Davis wrote solo. Davis, often billed as The World's Greatest Entertainer, goes down on one knee and grabs for the heartstrings. You may have heard many times before the story of what it's like to be black-skinned in America, but Davis makes it so fresh that your stomach drops with the pain of it. The first half here reprises Yes, I Can, but does so with brilliant pace and fervor. And the fabulous success story of Yes, I Can turns the downhill slide through booze and drugs of the later pages into a blacker black and makes Davis' final recovery more precious. All of Davis' heroes and heroines are drawn with great depth and skill, but especially endearing are his portraits of Frank Sinatra, whose great friendship, humanity, and show-biz wisdom lift Davis from his darkest hours, and of first wife May Britt. Also looming large are fellow Rat Pack members Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Tony Curtis, and Janet Leigh; Davis' personal handlers, to whom he surrenders management of his income while sabotaging their efforts at every turn; and such political figures as John and Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesse Jackson. One of the most moving moments here is when Davis and Britt receive an invitation to Kennedy's inauguration, after Davis has knocked himself out at rallies, only to have Kennedy's secretary later call to tell Sammy and Britt not to come—interracial marriage is just too much for the inauguration. Bobby Kennedy is angered by this lily-livered act and makes his own home ever open to the Davises. These passages are set up with extraordinary skill, and the reader experiences Davis' total devastation right along with him. At last Davis is down for the count, his liver severely diseased, his hip ground to a dust by a life of dancing. What next? Find out for yourself. Sammy's greatest show. Read full book review >