A PROLOGUE TO LOVE by Taylor Caldwell


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This- without seemingly intending to be- is a very tragic story, the story of the country's richest woman who had been so conditioned by her strange childhood that she never learned how to live, how to love, or how to use the money which meant only acquisition and growth to her. Her father (she never knew her mother) carried only hate and distrust and greed in his heart; he loved only his sister-in-law, twin to the wife who had died; he rejected and ignored Caroline, his daughter, because she was so like his artist father whom he had dismissed from his life and memory. He kept his child in shabby penury- while instilling in her a morbid fear of poverty, a belief that the only sin was to be poor. And then, when she was eighteen, he inducted her into the financial empire he had made- and died, leaving a will she could not forgive- or forget. Her marriage was a farce; Tom, who had loved her from childhood, could not remake her and the woman she had become had nothing to give to Tom or to their children. Money, its acquisition, its multiplication, was her god; she squeezed the last cent out of everything she touched. The novel is a long one, unrelieved in the relentless march of fate- the change of heart at the end unconvincing. The resemblance of Caroline Ames to the almost legendary Hetty Green is readily surmised. The story of great wealth is not a pretty one- as envisioned here.

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday