Charlotte Vale Allen Claudia's Shadow

ISBN 13: 9781551661773

Claudia's Shadow

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9781551661773: Claudia's Shadow
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Unable to accept that her sister committed suicide, Rowena Graham takes over Claudia's home and restaurant business while remembering their often strained relationship and is shocked by the dark family secrets she uncovers. Reprint.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Ding dong, Claudia's dead, and there is no shortage of people lining up to remind her surviving older sister just what a witch she was. In Allen's latest novel (after Somebody's Baby), Rowena Graham, an insecure and cautious librarian, can't accept the police finding of suicide by overdose of pills and whiskey. It seems that game-playing Claudia would have left a note-if only to cause others as much pain as possible-and she never drank Chivas Regal. As her younger sister's sole beneficiary, Rowena, 39, inherits an expensive Fairfield County, Conn., home, a posh New Canaan restaurant and a fabulous wardrobe. Investigating Claudia's life and death, Rowena focuses on Anthony Reid, an attractive psychiatrist whom Claudia had claimed as her boyfriend but who says that the dead woman was suffering from "erotomania" and was stalking him. Before long, it looks like the newly smoking, drinking and well-dressed Rowena is turning into Claudia-a situation that perhaps only the revelation of buried secrets can remedy. Rowena's transformation never quite washes, but those who enjoy psychological suspense stories about dysfunctional families will find satisfying diversion here.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Allen's ability to explore complex characters by delving into the emotional and intricate puzzle of troubled family relationships creates a realistic framework for this compelling novel. The mysterious circumstances surrounding Claudia's suicide force Rowena into a search for the truth about her younger sister and their dysfunctional family. Claudia's untimely death at 37 and unexpected bequest of her estate allow Rowena the freedom to alter the direction of her life. She returns to their childhood home and blossoms as the hostess in Claudia's upscale restaurant, thriving in the world that the vain and self-absorbed Claudia left behind. When Rowena inadvertently finds explicit videotapes of Claudia's sexual encounters, she becomes obsessed with her sister's history of mental and emotional problems and contacts Dr. Anthony Reid, Claudia's former psychiatrist and lover, but is unable to accept his theory to justify Claudia's behavior. Allen leads the reader effortlessly through her latest work, and loyal fans will not be disappointed. Liz Rifken

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