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DECADES (Park Avenue Series, Book #1) [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Harris
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2014 edition revised by the author for today's reader.

THREE WOMEN. THREE DECADES. Spanning the years from the optimistic post-War 1940s to the Mad Men 1950s and rule-breaking "Make Love, Not War" 1960s, DECADES is about three generations of women who must confront the radical changes and upended expectations of the turbulent decades in which they lived.

Evelyn, talented but insecure, is a traditional woman of the Forties. She is a loyal and loving wife and mother whose marriage and family mean everything to her.

Nick, handsome and ambitious, a chameleon who changes with the changing times, is her successful but restless husband.

Joy, their daughter, confused and defiant, a child of the Sixties, needs them both but is torn between them.

Barbara is the other woman, younger than Evelyn, accomplished but alone. She is a transitional woman of the Fifties who wonders if she can have everything--including another woman's husband.

DECADES, sweeping in scope yet intimate in detail, is the emotional, compelling story of family, marriage, crisis, betrayal and healing.

"The songs we sang, the clothes we wore, the way we made love. Absolutely perfect!" --Publisher's Weekly


Editorial Reviews

Review

“Powerful...A gripping novel.” — Women Today Book Club

“The songs we sang, the clothes we wore, the way we made love. DECADES will have three generations of American women reliving their love lives and recognizing ruefully and with wry affection just what changes have overtaken them.  The characterizations are good and the period atmosphere "absolutely perfect.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Three generations of women are  succinctly capsuled in this novel by a writer who has all the intellect of Mary McCarthy, all the insight of Joan Didion.  Rarely have attitudes been so probingly examined. Tough, trenchant, chic and ultra-sophisticated, Ms. Harris recreates the decades in which her heroines lived, from zoot suits and Sammy Kaye, through Eisenhower, Elvis and poodle-cut hairdos to moon walks, Mick Jagger and micro-minis.  A brilliant book!” --Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Evokes the feelings of what it was like to grow up female in the innocence of the 40’s, the movie-formed dreams of the 50’s, the disillusion of the 60’s. It’s all here—the songs, the headlines, the national preoccupations, even the underwear.”  —New York magazine

“I read DECADES straight through at one sitting and the more I think about that, the more impressive the novel seems.” — Houston Post

“Terrific!” —Cosmopolitan 

From the Author

I hope you will enjoy DECADES and come away with new insight into our history and the past challenges that helped make us the women we are today.

Join my news letter and be the first to know about sales, specials and new releases. eepurl.com/CUioz

Product Details

  • File Size: 1703 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H1TCXO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,298 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book worth re-reading! March 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I first read "Decades" when I was 15 (I was one of those kids who skipped YA and headed straight for the adult section of the bookstore). I read it again in my 20s and again in my 30s, and found it equally compelling - and different - each time.

Each of the heroines is a metaphor for her own decade, showing both the good and the bad choices women faced, as well as the good and bad choices they made. The descriptions are particularly vivid, and often very funny. One of my favorites is (quoting/paraphrasing from memory): They would have had sex swinging from the chandeliers - if the hotel room had chandeliers.

Highly recommended, especially for those who miss the juicy, soapy, multi-generational novels of the 1980s.

Alina Adams
[...]
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Thought Provoking December 28, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This engaging Novel explores the lives of three very different women who evolved in three very distinct eras. The glue that binds these women together is Nat, husband to Evelyn, Father to Joy and Lover to Barbara. These three women find themselves joined by their connection to Nat. Each woman deals with their conflicting needs and the moral values they grew up with. Their struggles lead to a stunning clash that will leave each one of them struggling with their own beliefs and judgments.

Barbara was married in the 50's and became the mother of two children. Her marriage was very traditional in the sense that she was expected to be devoted to her husband her children and her home. Barbara felt that there was something more she needed to be fulfilled. She ends up divorced from a husband whose top priority is work. She strives to become a single mother and a force in the workplace. She struggles with relationships and trust issues until she meets Nat and becomes his mistress.

Evelyn is a classic product of the 40's and is married and extremely devoted to Nat. Her goal is to please him and make him and their home as comfortable as possible. They have a daughter and their differences in how to raise a child are a point of contention. Evelyn suffers from issues that were not talked about openly at that time and cause her to wrestle with her feelings and feel very isolated.

Joy is the daughter of Evelyn and Nat born in the 60's. She is very rebellious and her mother has a hard time dealing with her. Her father encourages her manipulative and outrageous behavior and also her hatred of her mother. Joy finds herself trying to deal with the permissiveness of her generation and searches for a way to find a life of happiness and satisfaction.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great, character-rich novel to curl up with May 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Originally published in 1974 by Simon and Schuster, Decades gives you a glimpse into the romantic lives of three women in another time. Nat Baum has three important women embroidered into his life: Evelyn; his wife, Barbara; his lover, and Joy; his daughter. Decades covers their stories--of a woman (Evelyn) who loves her husband despite his shortcomings; Barbara, a divorcee who finally finds her equal and fights to claim him even though he's married to someone else; and Joy (Nat's and Evelyn's daughter), who is very close to her indulgent father while having a strained relationships with her more conservative mother.

In this novel there is no harsh judgment of right and wrong. No one emerged to me as the hero. Each character had faults and the path to right and wrong wasn't always clearly illuminated. Nat was a complex character, deeply faulted, and ultimately very self-indulgent, but haven't we all known people like that and loved some of them anyway? Nat also struck me as a bit of a chameleon--the women in his life were all very different but he easily won over all of them.

The writing style itself was extremely engaging. Ruth Harris has a clear voice that shines through the pages. From reading the parts of the book from the three different women's perspectives, I expected it all to be tied back together in a neat little package at the end, but there was no fairytale ending--just like in real life. This is a novel that will stay with you after you've finished reading it--the sign of a great book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Soapy Fabulosity! February 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that I remember my mother having on her bookshelf when I was a child. There were lots of period references (published in 1974 & the story spans the 40s through the early 70s) that I didn't get (like names of popular shops, things that were on television & accidents or cases that took place at the time) but that didn't keep me from thoroughly enjoying this. It was very easy to connect to the characters & just fall into the flow of the story. I believed every character & the tragic nature of the lives they led. I plan on reading the rest in this series. If you want a story you can't tear yourself away from while on vacation or travelling to get there, I highly recommend this!
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More About the Author

Ruth Harris is a million-copy  New York Times and Amazon bestselling author and Romantic Times award winner for "best contemporary." Her "emotional," "entertaining" books have been translated into 19 languages, sold in 30 countries, and were prominent selections of leading book clubs including the Literary Guild and the Book Of The Month Club.

Ruth writes about strong, savvy, witty women who struggle to succeed and, when sometimes they don't get what they want, find something even better along the way. Critics have called her books  "brilliant," "steamy," "stylishly written," "richly plotted," "first-class entertainment" and "a sure thing."

With her husband, Michael, Ruth writes bestselling thrillers with vivid characters, international backgrounds, and compelling plots. Publisher's Weekly called their thrillers "Slick and sexy with all the sure elements of big sellers written by pros who know how to tell a story. BRAINWASHED and HOOKED are available in Kindle ebook editions.

Join Ruth's news letter and be the first to know about sales, specials and new releases. eepurl.com/CUioz

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