Belva Plain was one of the noteworthy authors of America who was well known for her novels based on the historical, women’s fiction, and family saga genres. She is particularly popular for writing down the Werner Family Saga series. The novels written by author Plain, often dealt with the common social issues such as divorce, child molestation, adoption, abduction, and switching of babies at the time of birth. When she died, there were over 3o million printed copies of her books already available in more than 20 foreign languages all across the world. Out of the 27 novels that she had written in her writing career, 21 went on to be listed in the New York Times best sellers’ list. The first story written by author Plain was sold to the Cosmopolitan in the year 1940. During the initial days of her career as an author, she used to write short stories for numerous magazines. Until the time author Plain became a mother, she continued writing short stories. Finally, after the birth of her first child, she decided to try her hand at writing a full length novel and eventually penned down her debut novel titled ‘Evergreen’. But, Plain was not able to publish this book until 1978. However, when it was finally published, it opened to wide appreciations and praises from one and all. The book formed the first part of the Werner Family series and went on to feature for 41 weeks continuously on the best seller list of the New York Times. Later, it was also adapted in the form of a television mini series. The final novel written by author Plain in her writing career was titled as Heatwood and it was released in the year 2011.
Plain was born on January 01, 1919, in the New York City, The United States. Her death occurred on October 12, 2010. Author Belva Plain nee Offenberg was a 3rd generation American of the Jewish community who grew up in New York City. She completed her graduation from the Barnard College in the subject of history in the year 1939. Plain used to live in the section of Short Hill, located in Millburn, New Jersey. Before joining the bigger stage of publishing, author Plain used to write only short as she was busy raising her 3 children. At the age of 25, she approached the Cosmopolitan with her first story and agreed to publish it in their next issue. After this, Plain continued to contribute with a few dozen more short stories to a number of women’s magazines. When all her 3 kids grew old enough to take care of themselves, author Plain decided to shift her towards writing novels. In her first book titled Evergrees, she has described the character Anna in the form of a redheaded and feisty Jewish girl migrating from Poland into the New York with the hope of changing her fortune. Author Plain has described the family story of Anna which spans through a few more decades and 4 other books in the series. It is believed that author Plain didn’t own a computer ever in her life. In fact, she used to write all her books and short stories longhand on yellow pads. Throughout her career, Plain remained a disciplined worker. She sued to write for a few hours in the morning for only five days per week. Every year, she used to produce a novel of near about 500 to 600 pages. Author Plain’s husband was named Irving Plain, who died in the year 1982 after being in marriage with her for over 40 years.
One of the initial books written by author Belva Plain was published under the title ‘Promises’. It was released by the Dell publications in the year 1996. The story depicted in this book revolves around the life of the main characters named Margaret and Adam Crane, Randi, Nina, and Keith. As the novel begins, it is shown that Margaret has a beautiful home, a loving husband in Adam, and three beautiful kids. Her life was such that the other women would easily envy her. Over the years, Adam has cushioned his family very well with his earning and now the time has come for some rewards and contentments, and facing some new challenges together. But, Margaret notices that her husband has been working very hard and late at the office for the past few days. She believes that it is the workload that is keeping him busy until she comes to know about the other woman in her husband’s life, Randi. In the meantime, the orphan, Nina, that Adam and Margaret raised together as their own child seems to be reveling in the New York City. She believes that she has found the perfect life partner in Keith, who works as an investment banker. However, it seems that Keith has been keeping a secret from Nina and hopes of finding the right time to tell her. As Nina looks for completely committing herself to Keith, Margaret continues to play as a dutiful wife and chooses to ignore the warning signs of her failing marriage. Later, a rift develops between Margaret and Nina when she finds out the reality about Nina in the destruction of her marriage. She makes it clear that Nina and Keith are not at all welcome in her home.
Another successful book written by author Belva Plain was titled as ‘Secrecy’. This book was released by the Dell publishers in the year 1997. Author Plain depicted Ted and Charlotte Dawes as the main characters. As the opening scene of the novel, it is shown that Ted is handsome, irresistible, charming, and an 18 year old lady killer. But, he goes on to destroy the life of 14 year Charlotte Dawes in one night and completely shatters her family. For many years afterwards, Charlotte used to remember that night with great loathing and fear. She used to keep herself extremely busy with her architectural work so that she could remember that painful night. Charlotte tries to conceal her own world and at the same time builds new worlds for others as an architect. Her family, who were the prime employers in the mill town of New England, what had happened to her was just a beginning of her and the family’s end. Charlotte father becomes extremely shattered while her mother does not seem to be able to cope up the news. Eventually, Charlotte’s family loses all their grace and get plunged into a lot of debt. The only thing that keeps them going in the dark times is a woman who holds a guilty secret that appears to have given her the authority to destroy or resurrect the members of the family to whom she seems to be owing her life. In the end, author Plain has described an intriguing novel that tells the story of a family bound by secrecy. It also shows a redemption that grows in a person when he makes up his mind to speak out the truth.
Books in order of publication by series:
Werner Family Saga Books
|The Golden Cup||(1986)|
|Legacy of Silence||(1998)|
|After the Fire||(2000)|
|Her Father’s House||(2002)|
|The Sight of the Stars||(2003)|