AS THE CROW FLIES by Jeffrey Archer


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 Mega-selling Archer herein produces exactly the sort of sprawling family saga that he does so well: the rags-to-riches story of Charlie Trumper, who learns his trade selling vegetables from his grandfather's pushcart and who rises to become the wealthy and powerful founder of London's most elegant department store against great odds and vicious opposition. Charlie inherits not only a natural ability as a salesman from his grandfather, but larger dreams than the old man would have dreamed possible, and yet what really changes his life is WW I, an event wherein he both grows up and makes a lifelong enemy in Guy Trentham, a wealthy fop who may well have murdered Charlie's best friend on the battlefield. After the war, in one of the marvelous coincidences for which Archer is famous, Guy then manages to impregnate the lovely Rebecca Salmona childhood friend of Charlie's, his erstwhile business partner, and the woman he has come to lovean event not calculated to bring the two men closer together. When Guy skips out, Charlie marries Rebecca, adopts her illegitimate son, and together they build a business empire. Meanwhile, Guy conveniently goes off to Australia and dies, and it is his mother, the malevolent and devious Mrs. Ethel Trentham, who proves to be the real nemesis of Charlie and Becky's fortunes. While the Trumpers prevail more often than not over the decades, Ethel's machinations (and another improbable coincidence involving Guy) do lead to a tragic liaison and unexpected death before an ultimate board-room battle and requisite happily-ever-after conclusion. Great fun, the sort of fast-moving novel of which you believe not a word and enjoy every minute. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for August)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-06-017914-7
Page count: 624pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1991


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