"Complex cerebral father-daughter relationship tale"
In 1968 Rising New York attorney Donald Wolfe meets, dates,
and marries Lillian Morris. However, happily ever after
fails to materialize and they quickly part but not before
she becomes pregnant. Lillian remarries and Donald sees
their child Bettina once a week. During his visits Tina's
nanny accompanies the little girl. The nanny informs
Donald that Lillian ignores their daughter while planning
to carry her with her as excess baggage when she visits her
latest lover. Unable to sit on the sidelines, Donald
abducts his beloved Tina and vanishes with her.
Years later Tina is getting married. She travels to New
York where she soon learns more about her matriarchal
background. Tina is pulled in two directions, as she knows
her father lied about her past, but risked all to provide
her a safe nurturing environment.
HER FATHER'S HOUSE is a complex cerebral father-daughter
relationship tale. The story line forces the reader to
ponder how far does one go to protect a loved one including
hiding the truth from them? That question leads to other
philosophical issues such as does the means (hiding the
truth and the abduction though risking everything) justify
the end (an adjusted adult), when do you make that
decision, and how do you knows its right in a world of
multi-hued grays? Belva Plain leaves her fans to cogitate
on this deep novel and what brilliant rabbit will she pull
out of her magic word processor next?
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 15, 2002
Beloved storyteller Belva Plain understands the rich
tapestry of the human heart like no other. Her many
dazzling New York Times bestsellers probe the shifting
bonds of marriage and family with insight, compassion, and
uncommon grace. And her new novel is no exception. A tale
of fathers and daughters, lovers and families, acts of love
and acts of betrayal, Her Father's House is Belva Plain's
most powerful and unforgettable novel yet.
It is the spring of 1968 when Donald Wolfe, a young
graduate of a midwestern law school, arrives in New York.
Filled with ambition and idealism, he is dazzled not only
by the big city but by the vivacious, restless Lillian,
whom he marries in the heat of infatuation.
Surely theirs is no marriage made in heaven, but they have
a child, Tina, and she is the love of Donald's heart. For
her he would give up everything--his home, his
distinguished career, and his freedom. When his flawed
marriage begins to fail, a choice must be made. Shall he
consider a step that would force him into flight and a life
From her earliest years, Tina is exceptional, a brilliant
student and a joyous, loving spirit. At the university she
falls in love with Gilbert, who graduates from law school
just as she is about to enter medical school. Together they
go to New York, where she learns the truth about her
family's past, a truth that must change her regard for the
father who has protected and cherished her. When a terrible
lie has been told out of love, can it be forgiven?
With courage and compassion, Belva Plain paints a moving
portrait of the choices that shape the course of our lives,
the secrets that haunt us, and the love that helps us heal
and move on. It is a work of riveting storytelling and rare
emotional power by one of the most gifted novelists of our