THE GLITTER AND THE GOLD by Fred Mustard Stewart


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From the author of Ellis Island (1983) and Century (1981): a dynasty cannonade of characters, catastrophes, and couplings in California. beginning in 1849 and preluding and wrapping-up in a glittery present. Queenpin in the Collingwood clan is Emma, n‚e de Meyer, who left Germany with Papa Felix for the New World. On board the steamer, she'll meet and become pregnant by a man-on-the-run, young Ohioan Archer Collingwood. (He'd had very good reasons for robbing a bank). Alas, Archer is plucked off to a horrible jail term, and Emma sadly agrees to marry ship's captain Kinsolving. Later, in San Francisco, Papa Felix and his Countess friend found a department store; Emma gives birth to Archer, Jr.; and the daughter of a Manchu princess tries poisoning her rival. From then on it's a crossfire of deaths (mainly violent), births, marriages (Emma has three--one, of course, to Archer, who finally makes it to the sunny shores), tong wars, and feuds (Emma confronts an old enemy while pointing a gun: ""San Francisco's going to be either your kind of town or mine. . .""). Heir follows heir as along the way Jewish, WASP, Chinese, and Spanish elements contribute both bad guys and real good guys. At the close, there's a battle to preserve the family ranch--a small parcel of an enormous communications/industrial/retailing empire. Fat, fast, and forgettable, but reader-friendly.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1989
Publisher: New American Library