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Daybreak

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Few writers can move and captivate readers as Belva Plain can. In Daybreak, perhaps her best and boldest work yet, she creates a living, breathing portrait of two families joined by a devastating childhood illness, yet divided by the politics of hatred and by the sons they love. In a doctor's office, a man and a woman sit stunned as the doctor speaks: Blood tests show without a shadow of a doubt that the son they love so dearly, and who is now dying, is not their child. Incredible as it seems, there must have been a mix-up in the hospital where he was born. Enduring the pain of Peter's death is a blow they must bear, but Margaret and Arthur Crawfield must also confront the realization that somewhere their biological child still lives. And although they know their search will tear apart another family, they feel compelled to look for the child who has grown up in another home. At the same time that the Crawfield family's world is turning upside down, Laura Rice - Mrs. Homer "Bud" Rice - looking around her elegant home at her beloved piano and ancestral portraits, realizes that after nineteen years of marriage she and her husband are fundamentally strangers. Bud Rice is respectable and respected in their small southern town, a good father to their two sons - bright, healthy Tom and eleven-year-old Timmy, who despite his chronic illness is a gift of joy. But Bud is the reason, Laura believes, for Tom's involvement with a campus group of terrifying bigots. Now the Crawfield and the Rice families will come together, putting emotions in upheaval and leaving lives forever changed. Somewhere in the days ahead a mother must tell her son that he was born to another woman and has another family.And no one foresees the events gathering force to explode with violence in the quiet town as a political candidate plays on prejudice and fear. Newly discovered truths rock a family already under siege in Daybreak's jolting, soul-shattering conclusion. Timely, provocative, and as real as today's headlines, Daybreak pulses with truth, takes our breath away with its extraordinary grace and eloquence, and brings vividly to life men and women so real they will long remain in our minds and hearts.

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