AN OCEAN APART by Robin Pilcher


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The usual ingredients of heartbreak, corporate-takeover, and budding romance lead to a fairly predictable concoction—in a first novel by Robin, son of Rosamunde. Having lost his wife to cancer some months earlier, fortysomething David Inchelvie has all but retreated from the world, cocooning himself in grief and memories of his beloved Rachel. Heir and executive of Glendurnich Distilleries, he’s taken a leave of absence and started tending his parents— garden in remote Scotland, forcing his old father, Lord Inchelvie, out of retirement. When the highly suspect managing director, Duncan Caple, asks David to take a short business trip to the States, the plotting begins, as do some of the novel’s more obvious shortcomings. Experiencing an emotional breakdown at his business meeting, David escapes to a friend’s house in Long Island, where he procures a job as gardener to a wealthy yuppie couple. Hiding his identity, he becomes a virtual savior to the family: confidant to the housekeeper Jasmine, surrogate father to little Benji, and a masculine ideal to wife Jennifer. Everything blooms under his wise care. Meanwhile, trouble brews back in Scotland. In a plan to usurp control of the Inchelvie dynasty, Caple gets rid of some trusted employees and encourages the old man to stay home and rest. Oblivious to the nefarious goings-on, David continues slowly to recover his hope and mental balance’so much so that he sends for his three children to join him for an American holiday. Immediate warmth is generated (Jennifer’s husband Alex is conveniently away having an affair) when David receives news that his father has suffered a stroke upon learning that he may lose his company. Can the rejuvenated David save the day? More distracting than the predictable storyline are the oversimplified characterizations of Piltcher fils: children are sweet, Americans happy, the villains villainous. Traditional to a fault. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-19995-3
Page count: 470pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1998


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