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Thursday 21 June 2012

The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer

After reading Kane and Abel, I could not resist picking up The Prodigal Daughter which is the second book of the Kane and Abel series. While the first book revolved around the rivalry of Richard Kane and Abel Rosnovski, The Prodigal Daughter centers around Abel's daughter Florentyna.

Florentyna is a smart and intelligent child. She shares her father vision and love for America and secretly wishes to become the first lady president of the United States of America. The novel takes us through her birth, childhood, education, love, marriage, motherhood, career, politics and finally her rise to the highest office of America.

A good part of the first half of the book is just a re telling of what happens in Kane and Abel. So, if you have read Kane and Abel, this book will seem monotonous in the beginning. Even though the author has tried to put the facts from Florentyna's perspective, I felt as if I was reading a summary of Kane and Abel. The pace of the story quickens in the second half of the book when Florentyna steps into politics. The author has provided the readers with ample insights of how things works and happens in politics. I am not really a big fan of political novels and hence there were times I felt like skipping a few pages! One of my favorite and memorable character in this novel is Florentyna's governess, Miss Tredgold. She is her friend, philosopher and guide. She contributed a lot to the making of Florentyna's personality. The bond of love they shared is awe inspiring

This book actually fell short in my expectation. I was looking for something as compelling, if not more than Kane and Abel. Kane and Abel was fast paced, had a lot of twists and turns in plot, there was always an air of tension and apprehension through out the book which kept me glued to it. I found it lacking in this book. From the beginning I knew Florentyna would make it big in life. Although there had been a lot of ups and downs in her life too, I could guess where she would end up.

The book is written in such a way that even if you have not read Kane and Abel, you will be able to follow the story easily. That becomes a demerit for one who has read Kane and Abel, as a good part of the first half seems to be lifted from it. I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read it as a stand alone book.

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