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An epic, one-hundred-year saga of those who made Miami a center of power and privilege includes frontier woman Eulalie, black fugitive Caroline, immigrant Salman Levy, and Starlight, Eulalie's glamorous, liberated descendant. Reprint.
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The author of Well and Truly (1990) and other genially predictable, surprisingly touching human dramas--often with humorous garnish--dedicates this century-spanning (1886-1992) Miami saga to James Michener, ``who encouraged me to try a broad canvas.'' But while Mayerson, always an attractive storyteller, easily achieves readability, her forte--the tensing out of human frailties and eccentricities--is shoved aside here in the necessary corralling of gobs of historical material dealing with the evolution of Miami, the struggles of blacks and Native Americans, and three exponentially increasing families. In 1886, raw-boned, faded Eulalie--gently reared but married to coarse cracker Coombs, father of her son Jack--bears a daughter, Maude, by handsome Thomas Sands, a piratical sort who is soon handily murdered. Sands was also the lover of black Bahamian laundress Caroline and sired Bristol. Bristol will be forced to flee from white soldiers and is sent to the Everglades to live with a family of Seminoles, the tribe of Sally Cypress, Eulalie's only friend. Throughout the wrenching changes to come--persecution and humiliation of Seminoles and blacks as whites move in; real-estate booms and busts; the arrival of Cubans; the shrinking of pinelands, swamps, and rivers--the descendants of Eulalie, Caroline, and Sally Cypress weave in and out of each other's lives and cope (or don't) with the events of the times. Among the personae: business impresarios, a nightclub singer who has an affair with Castro (``he never stopped talking''), a Twenties flapper who takes dance lessons at age 90, a Sixties hippie, etc. etc. It ends with the great-great grandchild of Eulalie's, waiting out the 1992 hurricane in the ancestral house. Several voices tell the story of a parade of victims and victorious survivors. A certainly competent saga, with (thank goodness) a genealogical table appended. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Sweeping, panoramic, engrossing, convincing--the superlatives too often facilely applied to historical fiction are truly merited by this lively drama about the founding and evolution of Miami. Spanning the years between 1886 and the arrival of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the novel chronicles the fortunes of five generations of five families peopled with an assortment of spirited characters. Mayerson, a native Floridian and professor of English at the University of Miami as well as a popular author ( Well and Truly ), convincingly weaves together the fates of black and white settlers, Seminoles, carpetbaggers, winter visitors and Latinos, whose combined energies, ambitions and foibles coalesce in the electric, international atmosphere of the city today. The often tense, conflicting intermingling of disparate heritages provides much of the basis for the narrative, which is tightly written and well focused--an especially notable achievement given the stretch of history covered. Mayerson is a skilled storyteller who deftly uses all the tools of her trade to craft a well-honed traditional novel marred only occasionally by stiff dialogue and a few rather shallow characters. These faults are unimportant in comparison to the novel's exciting scope and sterling entertainment value. Literary Guild selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Signet, 1995. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110451181476
Book Description Signet. MASS MARKET PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0451181476 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1103036
Book Description Signet, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0451181476
Book Description Signet, 1995. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0451181476