The Side of the Angels

3.56 avg rating
( 61 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780553089240: The Side of the Angels

Years after she abandoned her daughter and ran off with a glamorous cousin, Polly Benedict returns to her husband, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, and her daughter, Kate, determined to reestablish family ties.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

From period-romance writer Blair (A World of Difference, 1989, etc.), an engaging contemporary story that tips its hat to politics, women's history, and feminism. When 12-year-old Kate Ballard's beautiful, feckless mother, Sydney, runs off with her own cousin, Kate vows never to let love wreak havoc in her life. She's rescued then by a fairy godmother (though sometimes witch) in the form of her maternal grandmother, Polly Benedict, imposing matriarch of a rich, powerful southern clan and mistress of the beautiful South Carolina estate, Kel Regis. Polly was so disgusted with her own daughter (for the wanton escapades of her youth, which included sex with her brother) that she ignored Kate for the first 14 years of her life. But after Sydney's defection, she finds in brilliant, bookish Kate a young life she hopes she can direct right into the White House. Kate warms to the imperious, meddling old woman, but is determined to follow her own destiny. She attends graduate school at Oxford, where she meets Win Talley, a handsome, charismatic young actor whose star is in the ascent. When the two marry, Polly is furious and Kate is exiled from Kel Regis. She puts her career on hold to help Win with his; gradually she realizes she needs work of her own and begins a book that is earmarked for the bestseller list. Her own TV show follows; the marriage breaks up; then Kate becomes a well-known feminist spokeswoman, has a couple of unsatisfactory romances, and is finally accepted back into the family fold. Through Polly's manipulations, she becomes president of her old alma mater, Wakefield College, where she'll endure some rocky times--but emerge triumphant. Interesting, full-bodied characters and an entertaining storyline: a modern romance with a reassuring, old-fashioned ending. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for August) -- Copyright 1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

With a joyous rebel whoop, bestselling author Blair ( A World of Difference ) unleashes an outstanding cast of feisty, memorable and believably flawed women. Kate Ballard, a brilliant child peppered with New England grit, is appalled when her highly sexed mother, Sydney, runs off with her own first cousin, Royal Benedict. Kate and her fusty, academic father are snubbed by the powerful southern Benedict clan until granddame Polly swoops down to meet her estranged daughter's child. So begins a lifelong struggle between two exquisitely matched, opinionated women. Like all of those whom Kate loves, from her insecure movie-idol husband , Win , to her scheming best friend Rebecca, Polly tries to steer Kate in directions she is loathe to go. Rather than churn up the vapid froth that keeps so many commercial novels afloat, Blair solidly builds this one around the old-fashioned South Carolina political machine Polly runs, with ballast from Kate's scholarly treatise on cross-cultural repression of women. Her injections of wit and wicked spice rarely pall, despite some deep dips into melodrama. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club dual main selections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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