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Random Winds

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,467 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
From a quiet turn-of-the-century village in upstate New York to war-torn London, from the bedsides of the rural poor to the life-and-death urgency of a great New York City hospital, this is a powerful epic of three generations of doctors in one magnificent family. The Farrells--dedicated, brilliant.. and driven to the edge of destruction by a love no human force could supp ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published September 1st 1987 by Dell (first published April 28th 1980)
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Jan 24, 2011 Donna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Random Winds is a novel of three generations of doctors in the Farrell family: Enoch, a dedicated country doctor; Martin, Enoch's son, who becomes a well known neurosurgeon whose love for a woman he can never have could bring him to ruin; and, Claire, Martin's daughter, who turns her back on convention and finds the price too high.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Belva Plain is a great author.
Oct 01, 2009 Marlene rated it it was ok
I wish I could tell you what this book is about, but I am not really sure. It covers three generations of doctors from one family and the differences of the generations; however, it goes off in many directions without a real focus. The only question I finally had (about half way through the book), was if Martin and Mary Fern would ever get together. The characters and situations, I felt, were not very real. A very soap opera type atmosphere.
Jamie Casey
Jul 08, 2013 Jamie Casey rated it really liked it
This is second of Belva's books. I wanted to read them in order to not only start at the beginning of the story, but to watch her writing progress.

This is the life story of Martin. He becomes a neurosurgeon probably sometime in the early 1930's. he dreams of becoming a Dr at a very early age. His father is a small town doctor. Instead of telling his father he doesn't want to take over his practice, he takes it over suddenly when his father dies unexpectedly. Martin, until much later in his life,
Oct 21, 2011 Debbie rated it it was amazing
This has so much depth of character and universal is sad and good...I love the style of writing with the character saying something and then you know what they are thinking....between sentences. I think this story parallels so much of what is real in life--strife in love and what causes us to be the people we are, and especially the what-ifs (what if I had taken a different course, traveled a different path?), the possibilities of life are not just left to chance or are they? One can ...more
Apr 03, 2015 Tracy rated it liked it
I did appreciate the beautiful prose, complex plot and rich, likeable characters of this book, but it just seemed to take me forever to get through. I think it dragged out too much for me to keep my attention. (Maybe my ADD at play :)). Anyway, if you like long multi-generational sagas you will likely enjoy this book. I have to say that (at least on my Kindle version) this book had the worst editing of any published work I've read. Missing punctuation, mispellings, characters referred to by diff ...more
J. Ewbank
Nov 14, 2015 J. Ewbank rated it really liked it
This is an early Belva Plain but boy is it good. The story concerns a young man who wants and then becomes an outstanding surgeon. However, the real plot involves his love for a woman, marrying her sister, marrying another woman and his continuing love for that first woman. It is well written and keeps you reading to find out what happens. I really enjoyed it.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" "To Whom It May Concern" and "Tell Me About the United Me
Lee Yahnker
Feb 27, 2015 Lee Yahnker rated it really liked it
I thought Belva was a fairly new writer. I didn't realize she had been writing since the 1980's and passed away in 2010. She wrote about homosexuality before it became a common topic. Interesting story woven over 3 generations.
Oct 09, 2008 Mariebell rated it liked it
Maybe the person you deraming of spending the rest of your life with is not destined to be with you, and you must learn to love the and accept the person destiny has chosen for you.
Jun 25, 2017 Christine rated it it was amazing
Interesting story about a doctor who followed his father into the medical profession, he fell in love with a girl, whose father didn't think he was good enough, and so the saga starts.
Debbie Mosley
Feb 28, 2014 Debbie Mosley rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book and scans the lifetime of a certain man and his "love at first-sight" love story which never seems to work out at the right time for either of them. I enjoyed the book but find it rather dark and depressing at times. Much of it was realistic, in the way that Life does happen and we all have those moments of, "what if..." that we know we cannot change.... and probably wouldn't if we could.
Dec 16, 2011 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys historical fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Spanning from a quiet turn-of-the-century upstate New York community to a war-torn London, from the bedsides of the poor to a bustling New York emergency room, this book follows three generations in a family of doctors - the Farrells. The Farrells are brilliant, dedicated...and subject to a love that will bring them to the brink of destruction. I enjoyed this book from one of my favorite authors. I give it an A+!
Dec 17, 2012 Werehare rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Drammone familiare alla Beautiful, scritto francamente male nonostante i personaggi non siano proprio i cliché balordi che ci si potrebbe aspettare da un libro del genere - fatta eccezione per Merisù, che non poteva mancare: il problema è che si comportano come degli stupidi, specialmente l'ultima generazione. Fastidioso il sessismo sotteso perfino nell'ambientazione moderna.
Apr 11, 2016 Sherry rated it liked it
Although the story was pretty good, and the characters were well developed, I was always unsure whether or not I liked the main character. His personality was a little too pat for my liking. However, I read thru to the end and was happy enough with how she ended the stories' of the other characters.
Jan 13, 2010 Sheena rated it liked it
Shelves: 1988
I can't believe it now but I have written in my notebook that I enjoyed it immensley still refuse to give it more than 3 stars. Apparently I felt obliged to read it in the first place cos Mum picked it up from Nan's, when she went into a home, and thought I would like it. Surprisingly I must have done.
May 16, 2010 Judy rated it really liked it
A doctor's life, covering about 50 years -- his family, the women he married, the children, his colleagues, his patients -- in the end, I think it was a sad read -- it was well written but I feel slightly depressed. I'm not sure about ever re-reading it.

Sep 28, 2015 Carol rated it liked it
This is the first Belva Plain book I have read. I found the story long winded and was disappointed with the predictable ending. I'm sorry, I won't be hurrying to read another of her books.
Hirley Datte
Nov 19, 2016 Hirley Datte rated it liked it
Slow in parts. Otherwise, Plain captures the tension between love of profession and love for family.
Dec 27, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Good story about strong women before their time.
Partridge Public
Plain, Belva
Jan 26, 2013 Marianne rated it really liked it
Totally gripping, but very sad. Had me crying by the second page!
Jan 03, 2015 Judy rated it it was ok
Shelves: modern-fiction
Looking back from 2015 I just cannot remember this book.
Nov 24, 2012 عائشة rated it really liked it
This was the first book I've read for Belva. It made me a big fan of her. I admire the way she untangles the threads of her characters lives into one flawless ending.
Jul 06, 2011 Linda rated it it was amazing
What a great author! I had read her several years before but it was fun to re-read the book. Her style is excellent! A great "Star-crossed lovers" book.
Oct 29, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
Family saga/medical profession.
Aug 18, 2010 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an emotional rollercoaster for these characters but I definitely enjoyed riding along.
Jenalyn C
Jan 08, 2009 Jenalyn C rated it liked it
not a classic, fun
Aug 14, 2007 Sondang rated it it was ok
Shelves: so-sobooks
Usual theme, similar problems, well maybe I just thought that there's nothing special with how the writer wrote the story.
Laura Lee
Jun 27, 2012 Laura Lee rated it liked it
Some of it dragged a little, but I still enjoyed it.
Kathleen A, Fancher
The story the characters

I did not lose interest at any point. I liked the passage of time and how relationships changed but stayed the same.
Sandra Campeau
Feb 22, 2014 Sandra Campeau rated it really liked it
Enjoyable book. Easy read, kept my interest. Not too taxing characters easy to follow
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Belva Plain was a best-selling American author of mainstream women's fiction. Her first novel, Evergreen (1978) topped the New York Times bestseller list for 41 weeks and was made into a TV miniseries. At her death, there were over 30 million copies of her twenty-plus novels in print in 22 languages.

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