The internationally renowned novelist and poet creates a very contemporary version of the story of Romeo and Juliet set in the twin realms of college and national politics. In the prominent political family of the Dickensons, ambition comes first, and Melissa, the third child, has always felt she came last. Going away to college offers a chance at love and a life free from her brilliant mother's constant scrutiny. Blake, a child of mixed race and apparently unknown parentage, has been raised by lawyers whose defence of death row cases has brought them into fierce dispute with Melissa's father, now a senator, then governor of Pennsylvania. When Melissa meets Blake at College, their passion is immediate. Yet Blake is keeping a dangerous secret from Melissa, one that could destroy both them and their families. Dealing with themes of love, honesty, identity and the consequences of ambition, this thoughtful beautifully written story is a page turner with an edge.
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(196mm x 125mm x 27mm)
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
All the more frightening because the end is predictable this story of innocence and manipulation lingers in the mind long after the last page has been read and read again. Melissa is the neglected third child of the title, the younger girl whose sister is prettier and cleverer than she and whose brothers bask in parental love and approval. Her father, a senator and aspiring president of the United States, is far too busy seeking backers and securing his power base in Washington to care about her and , as for her ambitious mother, the beautiful Rosemary is a control freak, slightly ashamed of her ungainly child. Melissa looks for love elsewhere and, when she finds a student who seems to want her for herself she is willing to do anything at all that he asks of her. Marge Piercy's depressing picture of the senator's greed for power is almost as unpleasant as her description of a college where the female students' priority is landing the boyfriend. It has to end in tears. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Marge Piercy
Marge Piercy is renowned as both a poet and a novelist and has won the Arthur C. Clarke award. She lives in Cape Cod, US, with her husband, the novelist Ira Wood, and five cats.