Monday, June 29, 2009

Review: The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer

Prodigal Daughter is an excellent work by Jeffery Archer. Most of the time, in works related to business empires, politics and thrillers, women remain in the supportive role. Even if there are many woman characters in the history who excelled in these fields - their percentage remains low in literature. Through "The prodigal daughter" Archer creates a powerful woman character- Florentyna who is in the race and her target is to attain the highest post in the world - The president of United States.

This novel is more descriptive about main character's childhood which is not usually seen in many novels of this type. It also analyses the problems of immigrants in a new place. Archer is successful in the analysis of the difficulties faced by the Polish emigrants in US in the earlier days, through Abel Rosnovski's hard work and success and also thorough an incident in Florentyna's school life.

The rose of Abel along with his hotel group "Baron" ,its success and how his business affected his family life give a mirror image of the things happening in today's society. The description of total dedication to business; even in the cost of time, which have to be spend with the family, and the subsequent divorce is really an eye opener.

Author also give high importance to the mentor's role in a person's life. In the Odyssey of Florentyna's life she too have a mentor who moulds her to what she is now- Miss Tredgold. It also shows how a person with clear vision can transform other's life. Abel was extremely good in his selection of Miss Tredgold as Florentyna's governess.

In her school days Florentyna occupied every post she could attain. Archer is successful in describing how a person's ego results in his/her downfall through Florentyna's failure in her competition for School's president and incidents in the Barron hotels by her childish behavior.

But this opened her eyes and with the help of Miss Tredgold she achieved the prestigious scholarship and thus fulfilled her headmistress's longtime dream. The days of Florentyna in her college, take us back to our own college days. Archer didn't drop anything in this section. He describes everything from sports to academics and also give us something to laugh - Bella's(Florentyn's friend) two hockey matches with Harvard team.

The story slowly grow to her love marriage with her father's enemy's son - Richard and their subsequent business adventures in San Fransisco after the expulsion from both the families. The best part in the book is the description of rejoining of both families after 10 years.

Now Florentyna explorers to the new frontiers of business as the chairperson of Baron Group and the couples subsequently took over the Lister's bank. The flow of the story is quite natural and always thrilling. Author then moves Florentna to US politics and the problems she faced and her triumphs. Its always a suspense for the readers that will she attain her dream and most sought after position in US? - The first woman president of US? Florentyna's journey in the politics is not in the way of roses; she faced a lot of difficulties on the way.

But here author reveals one important thing, the money backing. Behind her there is Baron Group and Lister bank but even then she is worried about the thousands of dollars running out of her own pocket above the money supplied by the government for running offices. What will be the condition of a common senator or a legislative member?

The difficulties faced by Florentyna is not her alone. but it is same in all democratic countries where age/seniority decides everything. They got tempting offers from many corners to make things a little more flexible or to keep the mouth shut. These money[bribe] powered politics is the basic reason for the degradation of democracy in all over the world.

The percentage of money going to right people and the percentage which ends up in the hands of wrong people will be a shock for everyone. Through Florentyna, the author declares that scarcity of money is not the problem but the inefficient use of it is the actual problem.

The description of US presidential election system and primaries will give a fair idea about how the US system is working even for a non US person. Her everlasting desire, the colleagues cheating and how she overcame it will always keep us in high voltage.

Russia's movement in the South Asia and the courage shown by her, even in the time when all others are willing to give in; and her subsequent success are all capable to keep our mind in the book. The claim for others victory not only rose angry in readers mind but it will arose sympathy too.

The best part of he book is its climax, whenever we read a book we can predict its climax but here its not happened in the way we imagined even the end result is the same. In "Prodigal Daughter" Archer terminated the novel in the exact point where it has to be not a word more and not a word less.

"Prodigal Daughter" also analysis the true friendship, successful business tactics of Abel and then her daughter Florentyna and her husband Richard, integrity and dutiful William Kane, professional George, Abel's desire to do something for the country in which he born, crooked political tactics, claiming others victory, true love of Richard and Edwar towards Florentyna etc. He also describes underflows and overflows in business and politics etc.

In total this is an excellent work from Archer, which from the beginning to end will not allow as to sleep; and a must read one for business persons and politicians.


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