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Sins of the Fathers (Van Zale #2)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  3,329 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
This is the tumultuous novel of men and women pitted against a world of wealth, power, and privilege...the story of the powerful Van Zale clan, and the man, Cornelius Van Zale, whose dynastic struggle to control a great fortune becomes the center of his life. When the world of the Van Zales, of servants and country houses, of European summers and Bar Harbor clambakes, poli ...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Published October 5th 2006 by Sphere (first published January 1st 1980)
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Deborah Pickstone Begin somewhere - take one thing you didn't know and read a little about it. This book is based on the Romans, so maybe Colleen McCullough's Rome…moreBegin somewhere - take one thing you didn't know and read a little about it. This book is based on the Romans, so maybe Colleen McCullough's Rome series? Loaded with knowledge!(less)
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Deborah Pickstone
5.5 stars

I love Susan Howatch's psychological writing. More, I love her method of taking a historical context and transposing it to a more modern one; in this case, the regime of Caesar Augustus in Rome. I see very few people seem to read the back story of Augustus as they review this book so I thought I would make a more detailed review than usual.

All of Howatch's books are written in this way, including the Starbridge series and the St Benet's trilogy. However, this is one of the earlier novel
...more
Laura
This book is the sequel of The Rich are Different.

Even if I haven's read the first book of this series, the author managed to keep track of the previous story into the present plot.

This is the story of Cornelius Van Zale and his family during the period of 1949 till 1967. Each part of the book is devoted to one of the main characters that became then the narrators of the story.

The author intwined several controversial themes, such as adultery, murder, alcoholism, impotence, health problems among
...more
Misfit
This is just not keeping my interest. Sam is boring boring boring and I can't even bear to finish with his narrative. Perhaps because post WWII era doesn't interest me much. *shrugs*

Moving on, life is too short.
Hoda
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never felt so sad by a book in my life!
It felt so real and I tried to believe that it's just a book, but I don't think it is.
The world is just cruel.
Sue
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Sequel to 'The Rich are Different', set ten years later. Again it's written from varying perspectives, which works well to develop the arious plots, but it mainly revolves around Cornelius, head of a bank. The book was very well-written, though I have little interest in high finance, and although the ending was rather bleak, I thought it was probably right.

Re-reading nearly nine years later, I found it gripping once again, and surprisingly enjoyable despite the business/banking theme. I had quit
...more
Angie
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read multiple Susan Howatch now and have loved everyone of them. This one was entertaining too, but I figure out all the plot twists, made me a little sad. But I guess if I read 10 bookd of hers before I figured out her plots and patterns it means she is an amazing writer. (Or I am a slow learner! - Both are true!)
Lee
Jan 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed this novel (and to finish it you have to - it's over 700 pages!) because I like these multi-generational wealthy family sagas, it was difficult to feel much empathy for the major players. Although I kept reminding myself the story follows the lives of the ultra rich and begins post WW II, when times were different, the two key women led such useless lives it seemed. Their marriages were up and down and motherhood clearly wasn't their forte. Most of the men were extremely ambitiou ...more
Mary
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
The book was WOW!. It has a wonderful storyline and most of the time, I couldnt predict what will happen next which I liked. The book was centred around a man, Cornelius, How he tried to control his family, his friends and everyone around him in the name of morality, doing what is right but his means and reason was just to satisfy him alone. It all failed in the end and ended with his own daughte turning her back against him. i love this book soooooooooo much!
Theresa Brandt
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perfect

Beautiful, lyrical, heartbreaking. Those are the words that most readily come to mind when I think of this book. I found 'Sins of the Fathers' to be a perfect reading experience. As an avid, long time reader, I can honestly say that there haven't been too many books I would say that about.
Diane
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Susan Howatch does not disappoint. Themes of success, power, family, communication and patriotism set across the decades of the 1930's through the 1960's made this a satisfying read. I did not like several characters, but Ms. Howatch draws the reader into their world and to a large extent, their minds. I highly recommend this book and this author.
Colette Fehr
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books of all time! I read The Rich Are Different first and liked that a lot but this was even better. Interesting, well written suspenseful - the works!!!! I'm sad it's over...
Ryan Baldwin
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent retelling of the life of Augustus/Imperial Rome in a semi modern setting.
Catherine
A great book, incredible up until the end when things turned predictable and melodramatic. It was going to get five stars but I had to knock it down because I really hated that ending. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the Van Zale duology (this is book 2). Do yourself a favor and read The Rich Are Different first to get the most out of this story.
Linda Lpp
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this in the 80's. Loved it then.
Linda Shrum
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did not realize this book was a sequel. I didn't read the first book. However this book stands on its own. I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Kane and Abel and Master of the Game. A family of wealth with all their dysfunctions. It took me awhile to get invested in the characters which I blame on not reading the prior book. This book is very long over 600 pages and it did positively hold my attention throughout. Once again there are characters that you dislike and those that are easi ...more
Cathy Wacksman
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad I discovered Susan Howatch. I couldn't do justice at summarizing the story. There are so many good reviews if you look her up. Even though this particular book is about 20th century characters, there is an understory of Augustus Caesar, Cleopatra, Mark Anthony and some others. I found it fascinating and couldn't get much else accomplished until I finished the book.
ladydusk
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Own. (Thank goodness)

What a great book. Best one I've read this year. I want to write a more thorough review later. Still thinking.
Debra Roman
Jun 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A re-reading of this book did not disappoint. I liked it as much as the first and now I want to read more of her books - some that I've already read and others that I haven't.
Carmen
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read it at a time when reading meant more than an escape. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jacky
Apr 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can't remember much of it accept it was a huge book to read, perhaps I should read again. I know I enjoyed it but can't remember much.
Lesley Paris
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I loved this book. One of those that stayed with me through the years.
Mary Ann
Pretty decent sequel to "The Rich are Different." I still hate Cornelius--what a little backstabber!
Cathy Ryan
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked it a lot....not as much as the first (but then who ever does like it as much as the first). A compelling read!!
Carolyn Ingram
Generally readable and well crafted. Although one understands at the outset that it is a family saga it drags on and on with excessive detail and description in many places, particularly as relates to the physical surroundings. Then the end seems rushed in comparison to the rest of the book. The machinations of the family members are worthy of the finest soap opera. The trappings of the characters are fairly believable considering they are all from an extremely rich banking family ranging from t ...more
Bob
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic and thoroughly satisfying

Long in the best way

Characters fleshed out so even a person you came to see as evil held your sympathy at times
Roya
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version of this book immediately following the first book of the saga "The Rich Are Different." I enjoy the historical perspectives and the way that Howatch can tell a story from the perspective of different characters. In both audio versions, the reader had a limited range of voices (they almost all sound sort of the same). It was sometimes difficult to figure out who was "talking." I enjoyed the "The Rich Are Different" more than the sequel "Sins of the Father," mostly ...more
Colleen
Sep 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read of a novel by Susan Howatch ... not a difficult read -- and a step up from the brain candy I sometimes read -- but I don't know if I'd read another book by this author ... this book had an interesting plot, fair character development ... shed light on how folks with money live. It didn't offer a lot of surprises and I was necessarily disappointed with the ending, just glad that it was over. I won't offer any suggestions for an alternate ending, but I think the author could have put a ...more
Cindy Kanode
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was thoroughly entertained. This book had a good plot with sufficient twists to keep my attention...some very unexpected. I enjoyed the varying character perspectives. I read this book (Van Zale #2) prior to the first novel, The Rich are Different, but had no difficulties figuring out the plot/characters but it would have been easier if I started with first book.
Karen
Dec 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sort of an evil pleasure read. Time span from the '50s to the 80's. High powered businessmen, trophy wives, cut-throat ambition, jet set travel, lots and lots of psychology of human behavior and morals. Change the setting from investment banking to advertising and you have an extended version of "Mad Men" but why does every book I read lately remind me of the upcoming presidency?!
Jan
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mistakenly read this one first, not realizing in time that it is a sequel to The Rich Are Different. Still, it was excellent.
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Susan Howatch (b. 1940) is a British novelist who has penned bestselling mysteries, family sagas, and other novels. Howatch was born in Surrey, England. She began writing as a teen and published her first book when she moved to the United States in 1964. Howatch found global success first with her five sagas and then with her novels about the Church of England in the twentieth century. She has now ...more
More about Susan Howatch...

Other Books in the Series

Van Zale (2 books)
  • The Rich Are Different
“Morality’s like mink,” I said. “It’s great if you can afford it.” 0 likes
“I’d rather be a first-rate failure than a second-rate success.” 0 likes
More quotes…