A serial bride secures her future by marrying only the wealthiest of men. An escaped Iraqi with a price on his head pays an involuntary visit to his homeland. A brush with death proves the biggest break of an aspiring artist's career. Two strangers, struck by lust-at-first-sight, consider a myriad of possibilities for where the day will take them.
With a will of steel, Polish immigrant Florentyna Rosnovski is indeed Abel's daughter. She shares with her father a love of America, his ideals, and his dream for the future. But she wants more to be the first female president. Golden boy Richard Kane was born into a life of luxury. The scion of a banking magnate he is successful, handsome, and determined to carve his own path in the world - and to build a future with the woman he loves.
With Florentyna's ultimate goal only a heartbeat away, both are about to discover the shattering price of power as a titanic battle of betrayal and deception reaches out from the past - a blood feud between two generations that threatens to destroy everything Florentyna and Richard have fought to achieve. This book was weird. I felt like I was reading an outline instead of a novel. I was never able to warm up to the writing style.
The narrator really lowered the quality of the novel. Her portrayal of the male characters was unconvincing, monotone and distracting. What disappointed you about The Prodigal Daughter? Very poor. No connection in The Prodigal's Daughter. Any additional comments? Couldn't read to the end Would you recommend this book to a friend?
Why or why not? What did you like best about this story? How could the performance have been better? The reader not good at all for this book. Bad male impersonation; better yet, have a man read the male roles. This reader has the same problem in Kathery Dance books when she trys male impersonation. Ruins the book. I keep forgetting to check out the reader befre I buy :. Was The Prodigal Daughter worth the listening time? Not if you have something to do besides driving up and down Interstate 5 by yourself.
Audible or authors need to match the reader to the book better--a bad reader can ruin a book. The story is a familial-character driven tale, spanning decades. Kane and Abel are both born on the same day in Baron Abel Rosnovski, aka Wladek Koskiewicz, is born to poverty and nightmarish violence in war-torn Poland. Blaming Kane for this embarrassing shun, Abel makes his way to a pinnacle of success as a hotelier. This has only been possible due to anonymous financial backing. Narrated by Jason Culp, about 20 hours of listening, release by Macmillon Audio.
They meet by chance, fall in love, and flee to San Francisco to escape the wrath of their fathers. Same-o-same-o, precisely, only a different point of view. Starting at about Chapter 23, the story of The Prodigal Daughter lifts off. The boutiques and hotels merge. Also Macmillon Audio, but narrated by Lorelei King. About 15 hours long. Book three, Shall We Tell the President, a short audiobook, is less than eight hours in length.
The story begins with Florentyna winning the position of POTUS, a roll she has fulfilled since the untimely death of her predecessor. An assassination is attempted and the story is off an running. Much better than The Prodigal Daughter. Sound familiar? Although the story is fiction, a British author pointed out in what we argue today, close to 40 years later. The rest of the series is not.
In summary, book one is great, book two a look into how the ridiculously wealthy live, book three is a decent who-done-it, albeit short for my taste. Two thirds of the book is a recap of the prodigal son. Waste of time. Weak follow up to the prodigal son. What would have made The Prodigal Daughter better? What could Jeffrey Archer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you? Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lorelei King? The reader read this book too fast in my opinion.
Not sure if I'll read the 3rd title in the series. I thought I was getting a sequel, but instead, the story repeats much of Kane and Abel from the prospective of the daughter. I could barely get through it. Even the long series. Normally each book can stand on its in and is interesting.
Listen to Kane and Abel skip Prodigal Daughter. Your audiobook is waiting…. The Prodigal Daughter. By: Jeffrey Archer. Narrated by: Lorelei King. So much is said here. I got utterly lovely reader mail after this essay was published. And this line is what most people write about when they write. Everyone has a story like this about their parents. One woman had very nearly the same story about her mother, except it had to do with cherries.
Before I was born, my parents bought a house on Franklin Street. This is where the essay leaves the eulogy behind. A lot of the stuff before this point is from the eulogy, not all of it, but most of it. But here is where I begin braiding together of the story of my mother and me with the story of Jane and Benjamin Franklin. Every little detail here is chosen for what it can do for that braid.
Working this way was tricky. My mother promptly planted a blueberry bush in the back yard. Brilliant detail given story above, of course. Master of poetry distilled into prose, volumes distilled into single clause. The street I grew up on was named for Benjamin Franklin. For a long time, no name was more famous. Brilliant pivot from the personal to the historical. Do you lay out the architecture or do these moments just make themselves known in that mystical animating force of writing?
I feel I should say, I was so excited to be able to do this here. Most of my work as a historian is about trying to argue for the importance of ordinary lives and it can be hard to convince the people who read history books that ordinary lives matter. This life, this life. His sister Jane was born in Benny and Jenny, they were called, when they were little.
I pulled one volume after another off the shelf, and turned the pages, astonished. She was everywhere, threaded through his life, like a slip stitch.
My mother taught me to sew and, although I hate to paint, I love to sew, and so did she. But on the other hand, these domestic images are also something of a tic of mine. I put them in essays all the time. I once wrote, in an essay about Benjamin Franklin, that he was so tight, good, rhetorically, that it was as though he were swaddling his argument, like a baby. That I did for Jane. He remembered it differently. He loved no one longer. She loved no one better. Their lives could hardly have been more different.
Boys were taught to read and write, girls to read and stitch. Signing is mechanical; writing is an art. Why were there so few women writers?
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Uh, because most women only knew how to read. Benjamin Franklin taught himself to write with wit and force and style. His sister never learned how to spell. What she did learn, he taught her. It was a little cruel, in its kindness, because when he left the lessons ended. He ran away in , when he was seventeen and she was eleven. The day he turned twenty-one, he wrote her a letter—she was fourteen—beginning a correspondence that would last until his death. He wrote more letters to her than he wrote to anyone else.
He became a printer, a philosopher, and a statesman. She became a wife, a mother, and a widow.
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She strained to form the letters of her name. This is a thing I do all the time, the rhyming within a sentence, a chime. I like it here. Maybe it goes too far. He wrote the story of his life, about a boy who runs away from a life of poverty and obscurity in cramped, pious Boston to become an enlightened, independent man of the world: a free man.
He meant it as an allegory about America. Jane Franklin was his other half. If his life is an allegory, so is hers. Working from 18th century letters I often set them as dialogue, in hopes that the reader can hear the characters. I thought she was joking. It would be like painting a phantom. Beautiful line…. Jane kept the letters her brother sent her. Most likely, he threw them away. Maybe someone burned them. It hardly matters. A one-sided correspondence is a house without windows, a left shoe, a pair of spectacles, smashed. My mother liked to command me to do things I found scary. Volumes telescoped into this line, and yet in its minimalism it is so revealing.
I always wanted to stay home and read. My mother only ever wanted me to get away. She brought me with her wherever she went. She once sent me to live with my aunt in Connecticut. I got homesick, and begged her to let me come home.
It was the weekend of the annual gay-pride parade, on Christopher Street. No one else in my family left home to go to college. My mother made sure I did. Jane: You; Your mother: Jane. But here the pairing of hands is different. Here the pair is me and Jane. Elsewhere in the essay, and mainly in the essay, the pair is my mother and Jane.
But sometimes I switch hands. But she did once stitch four sheets of foolscap between two covers to make a little book of sixteen pages. In an archive in Boston, I held it in my hands. I pictured her making it. Her paper was made from rags, soaked and pulped and strained and dried. Her thread was made from flax, combed and spun and dyed and twisted. The Book of Ages: her age. Born, March 27, ; married, July 27, Fifteen years four months. She was a child. The legal age for marriage in Massachusetts was sixteen; the average age was twenty-four, which is the age at which her brother Benjamin married and, excepting Jane, the average age at which her sisters were married.
The man she married, Edward Mecom, was twenty-two. He was poor, he was a saddler, and he was a Scot. He wore a wig and a beaver hat. She never once wrote anything about him expressing the least affection. The child of her childhood died This construction is so beautiful… three weeks shy of his first birthday. It devastated me to work on it. Finish the book!! The dead were wrapped in linen dipped in melted wax while a box made of pine was built and painted black. Puritans banned prayers for the dead: at the grave, there would be no sermon. Nor, ministers warned, ought there to be tears.
How would you advise the journalist to make more use of historical record? What skills should the journalist pay more attention to? What do you, as a historian, find lacking in much of the journalism you read? What standards of accuracy do historians and journalists share, where do we differ? These are lines that are the product of decades of studying and teaching early American history. The trouble with dipping a toe or two is that everything looks sort of cute and quaint. I find that unbearable, when people write about the past that way.
The Puritans, in particular, are painted as ridiculous. What remains of a life? But remains are also unpublished papers. And descendants are remains, too. Instead, she went home, and wrote a book of remembrance. Kiss this paper. College was something of a bust. This is a brilliantly telescoped sentence. College was miserable. Why dwell on it? On the one hand, Andrea Dworkin; on the other, Jacques Derrida. I took a job as a secretary, on the theory that it would give me more time to read what I wanted.
When an essay goes to press I obsess about stuff like that. I let this go, and always regretted it. I was sick of silence, sick of attics and wallpaper, sick of blank pages and miniature rooms, sick of blighted girlhood. I wanted to study war. I wanted to investigate atrocity. I wanted to write about politics. Really, I wanted to write about anything but Jane Franklin. This paragraph brilliantly highlights the reasons Jane Franklin would be the last person you wanted to write about. I kept making excuses. I was pregnant.
I was pregnant again. The point in this paragraph, the weaving of your story and Jane, is to underline common threads between the two of you? I like how your question comes in the form of a loom metaphor! Yes, here the pair is again me and Jane. So this does a bunch of work. It establishes a chronology in my life: I had three sons in a short span of years, a time in my life when I found it extremely difficult to think straight and writing seemed impossible.
Who cares? But Benjamin Franklin: I adored him. He was funny and brilliant and generous and fortunate. Every year of his life, his world got bigger. So did mine. When he had something to say, he said it.
The Prodigal Daughter
So did I. My mother and I had got tangled up, like skeins. The more I thought about Jane, the sadder it got. I tried to picture it. Her belly swelled, and emptied, and swelled again. Her breasts filled, and emptied, and filled again. Her days were days of flesh Beautiful poetry there. A baby in her arms, she stared into kettles and tubs, swaying. The days passed to months, the months to years, and, in her Book of Ages, she pressed her children between the pages.
Her husband fell into debt. He may have gone mad. Two of her sons became violently insane; they had to be locked up. Jane and her children lived with her parents; she nursed them, in their old age. Josiah Franklin died in He was eighty-seven. In his will, he had divided his estate among his surviving children. Benjamin Franklin refused his portion: he gave it to Jane.
In , Jane gave birth for the twelfth time. She was thirty-nine. His eighty-four-year-old mother wrote him a letter, with her daughter at her side. She asked her daughter to write for her. She loved her; she washed her. She buried her. Love this construction, so powerful in its succinct chain of declarations.
But it was Benjamin Franklin who paid for a gravestone, and wrote an epitaph:. This book of remembrance was a monument, not to his parents but to Franklin himself: prodigal son. Again a brilliant pivot point, here from historical to personal. Again, the question: do you lay out these constructions, this architectural underpinning?
How do you go about organizing your notes into a whole? To be clear, the passages about Jane and Benjamin Franklin in this essay are all versions of passages that appear in my biography of Jane, Book of Ages.
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