Book five in the author's Bridges Over Time series wherein beset men and women confront history's buffets and bounty—from 1036 on. We've now arrived in England's mid-18th century. Three women, crushed in the iron maiden of relationships with awful men, flail and fail, as all parties reach blindly for love. Beginning in 1740, there's George Whitmead of the East India Company, ponderous, thick-necked, and pleased he's found a suitable wife—the easily molded and ``charmingly inexperienced'' Lucy-Anne. Lucy-Anne is not sure what to expect, but Great-aunt Henrietta Whitmead (The Faithful Lovers, 1994) does know—and secretly leaves her niece money and a cottage. In a short time, George's insensitivity (he's put out there's no heir) and dismissal of his wife's intelligent management of the estate ignite a simmer of resentment—a simmer that becomes a roaring flame when Lucy-Anne finds comfort with caring Stephen, the educated bailiff. The two conceive a child, born in Henrietta's cottage and raised by a couple in Bath. In India, meanwhile, George—unaware, of course—plays pasha with his dancing girl, a gift from a local ruler. Much later, Lucy-Anne and George's daughter-in-law, Emma, wife of their son Henry (a chip off the old blockhead), will find a possible soulmate, except that the affair's stillborn and her life snuffed out. Then poor young Sophia, one of the couple's three daughters, has a violent affair and is rescued by Henry—but for what? By the end, four women will have become the prisoners of Henry's acidulous ``cherishing.'' He'll even train his own son in keeping his womenfolk away from ``violence or temptation from other men or the perils of their own frailty.'' This hysterical vow is taken on the heels of a terrifying revelation. Will even one of the women break out for Book VI? Stay tuned. Closeted, claustrophobic domestica, but with convincing historical Indian detail.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-312-13943-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1995

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.


Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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