Julie Ellis is the bestselling author of, among other novels, The Only Sin, Commitment, Far To Go and Passionate Obsession. She is an avid conservationist and a full-time writer. She lives in Manhattan.
Another in the succession of Ellis's (Commitment) appealing heroines, Fran Goldman is first seen in 1937 when she is an idealistic young journalist in a small Georgia town where her father owns a thriving ``ladies' shop.'' Rich, secure in their religious traditions, the Goldmans weather the Depression and accept the fact that Jews are barred from the country club. Nevertheless, when Fran weds penniless, hard-working Bernie Garfield, she gladly flees the South to breathe the freer air of New York. In the shadow of WWII, she meets new bigotry and bitter setbacks: aiding a persecuted Japanese friend, she's hit by a zealot's bullet; then‘stunningly‘she loses Bernie. Handicapped and widowed, with two daughters to raise, Fran refashions her life, career and persona, persevering throughout all that follows, including a scandalous murder that rocks the family. Ellis's characterizations are somewhat stiff, but she writes with a fluent historical perspective, closely newsreeling the big events‘wars; economic booms and slumps; radically changing sexual, racial and feminist mores‘that shape her characters and their world. Noteworthy is the delineation of a cutthroat music industry that breaks Fran's son-in-law but makes the fame of a granddaughter, who becomes a teeny-bopper star. Zigzagging between Fran's experience and the lives of her grown daughters, Ellis keeps the story brewing heady and strong. (Mar.)