Delacorte, Aug 2002, 25.95, 342 pp.
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.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner