Silverwood Author:Joanna Barnes It was said by some that Ada Prudhomme's most enduring legacy was the lavish estate she named Silverwood. Built in Los Angeles during the boom years of the '20s, it was certainly the fairest testimonial to her style and social standing. But to those who knew her best--the men and women who narrate this intricate, carefully wrought novel--Ada P... more »rudhomme's most enduring creation was undoubtedly herself. "Ada had a way of editing the truth, not to say tailoring it, that precluded anyone's forming finite conclusions about her for which she might be called to account. No matter that she's long gone; Ada was strong, mark my words..."
Spanning the first fifty years of the twentieth century, Silverwood is the multilayered history of the tall, willowy blond who came out of nowhere to marry the wealthy financier Victor Prudhomme, and who is remembered (depending on whom you ask) as the devoted bride, the strong-willed matriarch, the imperious widow, the mistress of Silverwood, and one of Los Angeles' most formidible hostesses. Mysterious... beautiful... manipulative... loyal... was Ada the great lady she wanted to be, who defended her family against calculated attack? Or was she an opportunist who secured her dreams with the ferocity of a tigress? Or was she some combination of these?
As the answer emerges, bit by bit, from under the tall shadow Ada casts, it forms a story of dazzling illusions, of love disguised as forbearance (and forbearance disguised as love); of suicide and accidental death; of lies of kindness and lies of malice; of tragic destiny and fateful choice. The story is revealed through the testimony of characters as various as Ada's twin sons, Drew and Tony, whose vantage points are as different as their faces are similar; their nanny, who witnessed the first of the two tragedies that transformed Ada's life; Ada's friend Elodie, who alone knows something of her origins; and her sister-in-law Bibi, who is the guardian of her darkest secret.
Joanna Barnes, author of the best-selling PASTORA, here weaves a spellbinding tale of glamour and illusion as suspenseful as any mystery. Set amid the timeless confrontation between gentry and newcomer, redolent of Hollywood's past from the crash of the stock market through the blacklisting decade, SILVERWOOD is a stunning narrative of public drama and private history--a novel in which nuance is as rewarding as fact.« less