Reading Belva

Belva Plain dies at 95

I heard this news on the radio first, I believe.  I was interested in the fact that she began writing her novels at the age of 59.  I wanted to read at least one of them, so I went to our local library and checked out Crossroads.  I finished it this evening.

In my opinion, the book was awkwardly written.  But the story was compelling.  It fit the description contained in the first words of this paragraph that I found somewhere:

Known for epic novels of family and forgiveness, she never owned a computer and wrote in longhand on a yellow pad. She had written short fiction for women's magazines before turning to novels.

Crossroads WAS a book of family and forgiveness.  The two main characters were an unassuming young woman of privilege and a beautiful, ambitious one.  Their lives intertwine, and there is an unanticipated but welcomed twist at the end of the story.

Plain's first novel, Evergreen, published in 1978, spent 41 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list in hardcover and another 20 in paperback.  It was made into a miniseries by NBC in 1985.

Apparently, strong-willed women, many of them Jewish and red-haired as well, appear again and again in Ms. Plain's fiction. Some of her novels use historical setting; other books tell stories about contemporary issues such as divorce, adoption, child abuse or babies accidentally switched at birth.

Belva Plain died in her sleep on October 19th at her home in New Jersey.  According to her publisher, almost 30 million copies of her books are in print, and they have been translated into 22 languages.

I'm encouraged by the creative productivity of this woman!  It's never too late to pursue one's dreams!


  1. Do you recommend this book Rebecca? Sounds like she had a interesting life....:-) Hugs

  2. Bernie, It was a good story line and it is not "racy" - quite proper. I liked that part of it. It was not hard to read - just didn't flow so smoothly....a little too forced at times...but I'm glad I read it. I WANTED to finish it to know how the story came out.

  3. Jacque, I read your comment - then when I came back to answer Bernie's, it was gone! I have no idea where it went ... I liked how you reinforced the idea that it's never too late to pursue your dreams.

  4. Belva was a beautiful woman. Your book review was very good Rebecca. I've always wanted to write a book myself and have started several times. Maybe when I'm 59, I'll end up finishing one! Love Di ♥

  5. Hi Rebecca,
    Think I just lost the comments I posted.
    So will try to rewrite them. That is an encouraging post to see how the Lord uses people so much as they get older. she was 59, and next March I will be too. I think we are never too old for the Lord to use us.
    I also think of Joyce Meyer who has written tons of books as well as being a wonderful speaker.
    After all Moses was around 80 I think when he delivered the people out of Egypt, so we are never too old.
    I think the Lord is just training us in our early years so he can use us in greater ways in our older years.
    One of our old Pastor's who is in his 70's always say "Make your last lap your best".
    good advice!
    Great post hon,
    Blessings, Nellie

  6. One of the books, my mother passed on to me several years ago, was Belva Plain's Golden Cup. It still has my mother's bookmark in it, a piece of lace ribbon!

  7. So I think that makes her about 63 when her first book was published. It is encouraging to hear about women starting new ventures in the last half of their lives. I like the story of Grandma Moses being prolific in her last years as well.

  8. Wanda, That is SO fascinating! I love it that her bookmark remains in it AND that you are aware of it! I just may have to read THAT book, too.

  9. I have never read Belva Plain's books. I'm so glad I came here today and found out about her.

    Thank you so much, Rebecca, for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment and for entering my GIVEAWAY! Most of all, thank you for your prayers for my aunt. :-)


  10. is never too late...even thought society might tell us differently, I always go back and think of the age of Moses...thanks for sharing!

  11. My mother's read her books... I need some middle of the night reading; perhaps, Belva's just what I need.

    Creativity as we grow older... hmmmmmmmmmm, wonder what that looks like for me.I look forward to exploring the creative pulse within.


  12. I have never read any of her books. She was a very prolific writer.

    It is good to "talk" to you again :-D

    I went away for awhile...quite a bit happened here in the cottage. I am back with a new purpose, a new beginning, but still the same inside :)


  13. Interesting. I love to write and the lace bookmark sounds like something I'd own! Thanks for the review.

  14. I've seen that book and wondered if it was a good one. Loved reading about it today and the lovely author. How interesting that she never used a computer and wrote it out on one of those yellow pads. :D What an ecouraging post Rebecca... and how true.... God uses people no matter our age.
    Look at Sarah... she was 90 when she got pregnant! whooHoOo! God has cool timing!
    Have a day dear friend!!

  15. Hi, I am catching up on reading your posts...I have not read any of this authors books but I am impressed that she was not intimidated to write a book at 59. Perhaps that is what helped her to live to be 95. I got a big smile reading your post about meeting your blogger friend. I think I will feel the same way as she did when she met you...that we have known each other a long time.

  16. i am always inspired by women who come
    into themselves later in life.

    my grandmother didn't attend college until
    she was 60 and then seminary after that!


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)