Friday, October 15, 2010

The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer

The Prodigal Daughter is my favourite Archer book.

The Prodigal Daughter

It is odd that of all the books I'm reading right now (I'm currently reading 4 at once, which explains the lack of book reviews here - and which also means I'm probably going to finish them all together and have a lot of reviews by the end of the month) the one I finished first was the one I'd already read. (I read it an awfully long time ago, though. It struck me while re-reading the book that there is a scene in the book where Florentyna, the main character, doesn't know what a virgin is - and when I read the book for the first time, I didn't really know what it meant either.) Anyway, I recently borrowed this book from the school library and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it even after so many years.

The Prodigal Daughter may be described as a sequel to Archer's wildly famous Kane and Abel, and is essentially the story of Florentyna Rosnovski - the daughter of Baron Abel Rosnovski of the original novel. Florentyna is an amazing character. She's intelligent, witty and kind - except when she rolls her fingers into a fist, which is when you have to watch out. And as it happens, she falls in love with one Richard Kane (son of William Kane in the original book) who just happens to be the son of her father's worst enemy. This book details everything that happens in her life - from her formative years to her years in college, to finally her affair with Richard and the subsequent drama that follows, and finally ends with her campaign to be the first female president of the united states of america.

The book, like every other Archer book, is extremely well-written. There is not a single dull moment, the dialogues are memorable, and the writing is very clean and masterful. The cast of characters is large (since this details the past and future of two families) but since each character is so unique (though not often very uniquely named) that is quite easy to keep them straight. Archer does not fall into the trap of having children with the exact characteristics of either parents and practically the same life, and therefore the book has a touch of realism that is really very useful. All in all, this book is masterfully plotted, the story is very interesting, and despite the large scale of the events the book is so delightfully human (and here the role of Florentyna as a character cannot be denied) that one cannot help but feel like the book is very human.

Final Thoughts: Excellently plotted, well-written, and with some of the most wonderful characters ever written - a book that no one should miss, though I recommend reading Archer's Kane and Abel first.

Other thoughts: Sorry for the long delay guys. But I'm almost through with New York, half-way through The Color of Magic, and also simultaneously reading some other books, so you can expect a lot of reviews in the near future. Until then, happy reading. :)


  1. One of my favourite Archer books as well, but Kane and Abel has stayed at the top of that list. I manage to reread it once every few years!

  2. It strikes me that I should probably re-read Kane and Abel too. Its been a while. :)

  3. I absolutely loved Kane and Abel. I read PD first and then when I went for K&A, I thought that I seem to have read this first as PD contains a brief summary of K&A... But reading K&A is an experience.... Following K&A is Shall we tell the president who originally had some other president but was later altered to include Florentyna as the president...

    I would also suggest reading 'As the crow flies'... an interesting read... I read it twice...

    On a side note, I read Devils in Pinstripes recently and reviewed it on my blog... Do go thru the book if u find the review interesting!

  4. Hi Aashish,
    I read K&A, Prodigal Daughter and Shall we tell the president in order...which was fun. :) I've not read As the Crow Flies, I definitely will - and I will check out the review too.

  5. i absolutely love this book :) i first read it really long back.....but then I've re-read it at least 5 times :D Kane and Abel rocks too!!! :D

    how is New York so far??? i found the summary at the back quite interesting that day of the volleyball match :D

  6. New York is good...I'm half-way through and its really interesting...

  7. I have read Jeffrey Archer's only one book "Shall we tell the President", I loved the book.
    I will defntly buy this one..
    Thanks for the review :)

  8. I have recently completed "I Am Number Four" and reviewed it on my Blog. Here is the link

  9. Hey Sayed,

    I think if you liked shall we tell the president you will like this too. And I will definitely check out your blog.

  10. I tried reading this a long time back! I lost interest in between and stopped reading this! I don't remember why!

  11. I think you should definitely take it up again. :)
    Sometimes that just happens.

  12. I still haven't read this book. I am going to pick up 2 Wodehouse books and 'Gone with the wind' next month first week. Guess will pick this book next time. :) but Yes I will definitely read it. Nice review. :)

  13. Hi Aditya,

    Your reading list sounds interesting. :) Let me know how you like this book when you do read it.

  14. I loved Kane and Abel and also the Prodigal Daughter. Have you read Archer's Not a Penny More...? That is one wonderful book too.

    Btw, I like the way you review books -- simple and short.

  15. "Not a penny more..." is one of my favourite Archer novels, I can never see why people don't like it more. :)

    And thanks for the compliment. :D

  16. Hey!!nice review:)Prodigal daughter is my favorite Archer book too!Just love Florentyna's character!I read it years ago and your review gave a recap!

  17. Hey Archana, thanks for visiting. :) I'm glad you liked the review...Prodigal Daughter is truly one of the best books ever. :D

  18. Must be an enjoyable read The Prodigal Daughter by Jeffrey Archer. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.


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