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Crossroads Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073930920X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739309209
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,342,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Plain's tepid latest focuses on two women—privileged but plain Gwen Wright and beautiful but poor Jewel Fairchild. Their lives occasionally intersect, and eventually Jewel marries a wealthy man and discovers that money can't buy happiness. Gwen, meanwhile, marries a poor but honest man—but she still finds herself drawn to Jewel's husband, and the foursome is soon tangled in a web of deceit. Unfortunately, Jewel and Gwen don't evolve throughout the novel; Gwen is a character that some readers might find intolerably perfect—smart, privileged, shy, well-spoken, with simple needs and a tragic past—but any irritation that one might have with her is eliminated by the calculating and shallow Jewel, who is too pathetic to be a legitimate antagonist and too tragic to really be hated. It functions well as a simplistic morality tale. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A tragic accident forces Cassie Wright, owner of the prosperous Wright Glassworks, to raise her late husband’s love child as her own. Despite the painful daily reminder of his unfaithfulness, Cassie knows she is more than able to provide a privileged upbringing for little Gwen. As a member of the wealthiest family in Wrightstown, Gwen grows up to be quiet and smart, and can’t help but compare herself to Jewel, the gorgeous, gossip-loving receptionist at the Glassworks who fantasizes about marrying money. Fast-forward a few years. Gwen falls deeply in love and marries hardworking electrician Stan; Jewel is the wife of the shrewd CEO of the electric company where Stan is employed. The four soon become entangled in a twisted web of lust, greed, and envy. Plain carefully dissects each character’s thoughts, and arouses sympathy even when the most conniving among them get their due. The plotline is comfortably predictable, sure to satisfy Plain’s many loyal fans and others who seek safely entertaining fiction. --Annie McCormick --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Love all of Belva Plain books - this was a winner as well.
Raya K.
The writing in "Crossroads" is simplistic, the characters are not well developed and don't seem like real people, and the plot is pretty thin.
A Reader
If you want to relax with a book that has nothing to do with your own life, I would recommend this as something fun to read.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When Cassie Wright, heir to the foremost company in a thriving New England town adopts a child she names Gwendolyn, she also keeps a very big secret of the child's origins. Years later, once Cassie has established her abilities running the company and her daughter is in her teens, a jealous young woman turns their relationship upside down by what she reveals.

Jewel Fairchild is from humble origins, but her beauty is her ticket into the world she desires. But her envy and jealousy motivate many of her actions, and in the end, will these qualities be her ruination? When she tells Gwen the story of her birth parents, is she doing so innocently? Or is their a more powerful and dark emotion governing her actions?

For years, the lives of these three women continue to intersect in numerous ways until finally, years later, each of them arrives at various crossroads when decisions will move them in one direction or another, sometimes irrevocably altering each destiny.

Belva Plain's characters are alive and real, with flaws and strengths, captivating the reader and pulling each of us in to these lives as they unfold. We root for one or another at certain points along the way, but the key to this story's strength lies in how each character elicits our empathy. We can understand how and why they behave the way they do, as the author unveils back story over a period of time.

In the end, the women are all altered by their experiences, some of which have been horrific, but they stand tall in a newfound strength gleaned from their life lessons.

Crossroads is an absorbing and entangling tale of greed, jealousy, and betrayal, and earns five stars for me.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Wrightstown, New England, twice widowed Mrs. Cassandra Wright (Ms. Is too trendy though using her maiden name is not) is the CEO of Wright Glassworks. A family tragedy forces Cassie to take in her relative, one years old Gwen. She raises Gwen as if she is her own daughter and the child thrives in the affluence of her surroundings.

Jewel Fairchild works as a receptionist at the Glassworks with ambition to marry wealth. Whereas the adult Gwen is at best plain looking; Jewel is vivaciously beautiful. Envious of Gwen, Jewel achieves her goal by marrying affluent businessman Jeff while Gwen settles on steady middle class worker Stan while coveting Jeff. When Stan uncovers questionable practices at his place of work owned by Jeff, they and their wives will be forced to confront their inner demons.

This contemporary comparative character study is fun to follow as readers will contrast Jewel with Gwen, and Stan with Jeff. Although Jewel is more of a caricature of the scheming gold-digger, Gwen a bit too introverted to carry the story line and the husbands two and half dimensional, the dynamic CROSSROADS relationships between the lead quartet make for an interesting drama for fans of Belva Plain.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By eclecticreviewer on February 8, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gwen Wright, daughter of wealthy entrepreneur, Cassandra Wright, is introverted and holding a secret. Her chance meeting with Jewel Fairchild, beautiful,confident and making a meager living, kicks off a life-long feud that dramatically changes their lives both good and bad. I listened to the audiobook and at first thought this story was based in the early 19th century and later realized that it was a contemporary novel. It is interesting how this book could actually be interpreted in another time. I enjoyed this refreshing novel which didn't contain all the sex, drugs and violence that many contemporary books do
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kristi Ahlers on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gwen Wright is raised after a tragic accident takes her parents by Cassie Wright. Gwen flourished in her new life of privilege and wealth. She may have all sorts of wealth, but this plain young woman falls in love with a rather lower income man and marries him. Gwen's mother CEO of Wrights Glassworks provides her adopted daughter with all that she could want, protecting her in a strange manner.

Jewel Fairbanks is conniving with a capital "C" and will do what she must in order to marry wealthy. She works as a receptionist at the Glassworks and her paths occasionally cross with Gwen's and with each meeting she becomes more and more envious of plain little Gwen. Eventually, Jewel succeeds in marrying wealthy and soon these two couples lives become ensnared with secrets and lies. Life in a small town becomes smaller and the drama and betrayal these two couples have to deal with just might bring the end to one of the relationships.

Where to start. Both female leads fall short. Gwen is too perfect which makes her almost obnoxious, and Jewel is so conniving and evil she's predictable. And in the end this reader really didn't care what was going to happen to either character. I won't go to say they're both too stupid to live, but there was just no connection to either of them for me. I would have liked to have seen a little growth in their development as this story spans a good deal of time. In the end this story is mildly entertaining although a tad predictable...I know there is that word again but it is apt in this case.
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