Ellis (Loyalties, 1989, etc.) does Jewish Dallas in this lackluster commercial novel about a pair of New Yorkers who take a ride on the Big D during boom-times. It's 1923, and Harry Newhouse has been sparking Katie Freeman for some time when the story begins; so when Harry decides to head for the Southwest in a battered old Ford, Katie's only too happy to tie the knot and come along--with the two of them vowing they'll be rich by the time they next see Manhattan. Forty miles outside of Dallas, however, the car breaks down on the doorstep of a farm widow willing to sell her place cheap to the kids, who are soon planting and churning like a couple of hayseeds, though Harry commutes to a job in a Dallas brokerage firm--where he puts his ""prodigious memory"" to work buying stocks on margin. Of course, he loses the millions he earns on Black Monday, and the Newhouse clan (now increased by babies Leo and Joanne) learn to live frugally again. Harry proves such a pushy father, though, that he drives young Leo to suicide; little Joanne blames dad, causing Harry and Katie to divorce. What follows are 20-odd years of separation for the two, while Katie starts three successful companies and spoils troubled Joanne, and while Harry makes a big mistake in marrying the ambitious secretary, Eileen, then has a heart attack. That's when Katie pops into his life again to sort Harry out apres-Eileen and stand with him under the chuppah one more time. Unusually depthless characters, anachronistic details, and a thrashing plot make this an indigestible Texas chili.