(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Felix Salinger is a proud, arrogant, unfeeling man who makes even the villains of Charles Dickens appear paragons of virtue. He betrays his college roommate, condemns his wife to a loveless, contrived marriage, and thwarts the last wish of his dying father. Nevertheless, the disobedient son receives his comeuppance at the hands of the son and surrogate daughter of those he so grievously wronged.

Laura and Clay Fairchild are thieves who, with the assistance of their half brother Ben Gardner, determine to steal the jewels belonging to the daughter-in-law of Owen Salinger, the wealthy owner of a prosperous chain of hotels. Ben Gardner looks upon the plan as a way to take revenge upon the man who ruined his father--Felix Salinger, Owen’s son. Unfortunately for Ben, however, Laura befriends and grows to love Felix’s father. At the same time, Owen finds in Laura the qualities he would have wished to see in the daughter he never had. Felix resents this new attachment bitterly and conspires to defraud Laura of her inheritance upon his father’s death. Laura is angry, and with the help of friends and her brothers, she regains that which was meant to be hers and destroys Felix in the bargain.

INHERITANCE is the story of a woman who could easily have become a victim of her own needs and insecurities as well as the machinations of an evil and brutish man. Laura Fairchild learns, however, that she will be loved and triumphant if she refuses to define herself by the demands of others and instead asserts her own identity. In consequence, INHERITANCE is more than a simple morality tale in which good is inevitably victorious over evil.