Jeffrey (Howard) Archer

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Nora Johnson

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"Kane & Abel," Jeffrey Archer's previous best seller, chronicled the blood feud of two powerful men. In this sequel, ["The Prodigal Daughter,"] Abel's daughter, Florentyna Rosnovski, marries Kane's son and then goes on to the Vice Presidency.

Florentyna is so flawless she makes other flawless heroines look as faulty as rhinestones. By the time of her birth, Abel, once a poor immigrant, is a rich hotel baron and can buy her anything she wants or needs…. [When] she meets and marries Richard Kane (handsome, rich, brilliant, charming, etc) the two feuding fathers won't speak to the young couple and cut them off without a cent. Never mind, this perfect pair can do anything….

Mr. Archer substitutes tons of information for characterization and a breakneck pace for insights. It's all impossible: I longed for something to go wrong with Florentyna's Wonder Woman life, but hardly anything did. Still, for the most part I was very much behind Florentyna and will certainly vote for her. (p. 27)

Nora Johnson, "Men and Women and Trouble," in The New York Times Book Review (copyright © 1982 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), July 11, 1982, pp. 14, 27.∗

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