Remember by Barbara Taylor Bradford

a red ribbon tied on the b in remember is cover artBarbara Taylor Bradford sets the opening of Remember in 1989 China where TV reporter Nicky Wells and photographer Cleeland Donovan cover the student protests.

Friends before Tiananmen Square, Nicky and Clee become sex partners afterward. Clee loves Nicky; she’s not sure she loves him.

Nicky has never recovered from losing Charles Devereaux, who is believed to have committed suicide—he left a note for his mother—but whose body has never been found.

One day, Nicky sees on a TV news broadcast from Rome, a man who she is sure is Charles.

Nicky goes into investigative reporter mode to find out why he faked suicide. She suspects he might have been involved in drug trafficking or illegal munitions sales: His international wine business plus his aristocratic connections would have provided ample cover for either.

Each of the trails Nicky follows ends in a dead end, until she learns details about his parents.

The Tiananmen Square details and the European travelogue is interesting, but Nicki’s pursuit of the truth about her ex-lover has all the drama of reporting on a zoning board application.

Although the dust jacket promises readers will never forget Remember, I had forgotten most of it the morning after I’d read it.

Remember by Barbara Taylor Bradford
Random House. ©1991. 381 p.
1991 bestseller #9; my grade: C+

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

Young Man of Manhattan, Grow Up!

In Young Man of Manhattan, Katherine Brush shows how a talented writer can make a scruffy boy-meets-girl plot sparkle.

The boy in the story is a young sportswriter, Toby McLean. The girl is Ann Vaughn, a film reporter for another newspaper. Both are still tied to the apron strings of their upbringing.

In Toby’s case there wasn’t much in upbringing. His father was an alcoholic. Toby has a reputation for being fond of the bottle himself.

Ann is ambitious. Toby is  talented but not really concerned about getting to the top of his profession.

Ann  lives within her means. Toby lives from day to day.  His pockets are always at his friends’ disposal.

Obviously this marriage is going  to require some major adjustments.

When Ann  begins to be successful, Toby knows he should be pleased for her. He tries to be, but deep down he is jealous. He would like to be successful, too, if only it didn’t require so much work.

Any writer who can make a plot this threadbare into a bestseller is good.

Brush makes these kids so young, so earnest, so hopeful that readers can’t help wanting them to grow up and be happy.

Young Man of Manhattan
by Katherine Brush
Farrar and Reinhardt, 1930
325 pages
1930 bestseller #9
My grade: B

©2010 Linda Gorton Aragoni