THE SEADON FORTUNE by Leonard St. Clair


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A trigenerational novel with a much longer span than the Golden Gate bridge which begins in 1864, when nineteen-year-old Cathlin Donahoe comes to the sixteen-year-old San Francisco, and ends up around WW II. With the earthquake, the Exposition, prohibition, the crash, and WW II as dividers, you'll follow the Seadon fortunes which start in a general store in the Sierras (Cathlin marries Val Seadon, finally bears him two sons and a daughter) and then swing into oil, an empire's worth. There are some twenty main characters; at least half of these, mostly Seadons and progeny, you'll follow in and out of their marriages--particularly Ross and Owen, the two sons. Ross falls in love with an independent Eastern girl Liz who won't marry him but does bear his child, unknown to him until the close when the son will finally defeat their long-term competitor, Haggerty. Owen is more fortunate in his alliance with the daughter of the most prominent Spanish family in the Alto Valle. This is a good example of narrative management, the story traveling on in slightly better than everyday prose, the characters sympathetically unrememberable, and all of it most readable. It may also be grubstaked out for a possible thirteen weeks of viewing.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Simon & Schuster