Decades ago, after the death of his wife, Texas ranch hand JT Tucker took his three small daughters to California to start a new life. With almost no money, a will of iron, and hard work, he eventually built the biggest ranch in California. But when he dies suddenly at the age of sixty-four, the ranch is inherited by his three daughters—each of them finding it impossible to believe that this larger-than-life figure is gone from their lives. Caroline, the youngest and most reserved, was overlooked by her father for her entire life and fled to become a wife, mother, and writer in Marin County. Gemma, his declared favorite, sought out Hollywood glamour and success and became a major television star.
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Her father was a Pulitzer-winning passionate photo journalist in his days. India used to be a very famous photographer 17 years ago. But her future had a different story to tell and that was when her life had changed upside-down.
And then the series of conflicts starts taking place. She keeps her hopes high for a week or so and nothing seems to change between them. She finds out her husband does not love her anymore.
He thinks love is for young unrealistic people and that their life of romance had long gone for good. He says it was time now to live for the children. India soon realizes the foolishness of living with a man who does not love her and respect her profession, and it was not simply her profession rather it was part of her being. A part of her died when she left photography and she did it all to keep her promise she made to her husband.
And now apparently, Doug is talking as if it does not mean anything to him. She simply wanted him to appreciate her for the sacrifices that she made for the sake of her family. For one thing, I did not get how in the world does India put up with such a chauvinist of a husband!?
But to no avail. Her husband finally gets furious at her and leaves her. Surprisingly, the husband decides to get separated not the wife! This is something I extremely hated. How could a husband expect his wife to be a slave-runner, a cook, a mother, a governess all at the same time? She is doing all these things and in return all she wants from her husband now is a little appreciation for what she did and who she was.
And Mr. Worse yet, he does not even care about her emotions. India, being the simpleton, that she is, keeps hoping someday things will change. Obviously it does not. India then meets Wall Street tycoon Paul Ward at Cape Cod on a vacation, the one about whom everybody says he is indecently handsome. And as it turns out, they become friends. At the very beginning of their friendship, Paul says there is none like Serena and he cannot replace her with anyone.
India accepts it and is happy to find him as a friend. But the crazy tycoon changes his mind and thinks he is in love with India. He tells her this and in the next scene they are making love on his bed in a hotel room. Two days go by. Paul dreams of Serena and he finds her blaming him for letting her die alone.
Paul is confused. My question to Mr. Anyhow, India still tries to talk him into giving a second thought to no avail. Or better yet get married. While Paul is an ancient and a grandfather. I still cannot think of a 51 year old going out with a 44 year old mother of three kids, who would be the age of his grandchildren. Worse still, Paul does not get the point himself, his son Sean tells him of the prospect of marrying India. Paul is a big deal businessman and a supposedly intelligent person.
The last thing you would expect from a person his age and stature, is Quixotism. Nevertheless, on other accounts he is always an honest man and when he is breaking up with India he does not give false hopes to her. On the face of it, the book is not predictable.
However, I found this book to be very predictable. Even though I have only read a single Steel novel prior to this. If you follow the progression of the plot you can very easily tell what is going to happen next.
Dulce y amargo
DULCE Y AMARGO