THE GOLDEN CUP by Belva Plain
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Plain returns to the turn-of-the-century Manhattan of Evergreen (1978), now featuring the family of Paul Werner, erstwhile lover of Evergreen's Anna, that feisty, upwardly mobile immigrant who appears here briefly but potently. Again there is that measured mix of family woes, lovers' bonanzas and blights, and dining-room occasions--calamity with a tea cozy. It all begins with Hennie De Rivera, Paul's aunt, catching first sight of dashing Dan Roth as he leaps into a burning building to rescue an old woman. Hennie is warned by crusty uncle Dr. David that Dan is a ladies' man, but Hennie's pregnancy hastens marriage to Dan--in spite of the disapproval of Mother Angelique, who's still living dreams of the Old South in her plush Manhattan digs. Sephardic Angelique looks down on German Jews, although she's happy with daughter Florence's husband, Walter Werner, who's making it big in real estate. (Also doing well is Hennie's easy-going brother Alfie, who marries out of his faith). Hennie and Dan produce scholarly, fragile Freddie and also raise Leah, orphan of a hardluck slum widow. As parents, they remain political activists, carrying banners for the oppressed working class--a stance that causes a family rift when Dan admits to exposing Waiter's firm for slum-lording. Through the years, troubles pop: Paul, on the brink of leaving gentle, family-accepted Mimi at the canopy, in his passion for servant Anna, confides only in Hennie; son Freddie, a romantic, joins the British Army in WW I and will experience a gamut of miseries on and off the battlefield until the final sacrificial exit (and what is Freddie's sexual secret?); beautiful Leah, career woman, wife and mother, betrays her husband (or does she really?); and Hennie, after years of marriage to Dan, has a horrid revelation. At the dose, however, family survivors are reunited by tragedy and love at a child's birthday party--""the family together and healed."" A twig from Plain's Evergreen, whose admirers will find this irresistible.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1986
ISBN: 0440130913
Publisher: Delacorte