Another young lady who acquires a new perspective on California problems when her own situation changes radically is Anabel Crichton, the heroine of Bella Dietrich's new novel, Enslavement for a Divorcee. The tall, voluptuous, red-haired divorcee is the municipal assistant for Del Monte, a seaside resort and retirement community. She takes the job for the convenience of being near her mother, who will care for her two young children, but throws herself completely into both the job and the community to try to forget Hal Crichton, her promoter ex-husband.
Determined to make a meaningful life for herself and her children, Anabel plunges into the intrigue and exploitative machinations of local politics. But Hal follows her even to this quiet, beautiful community and continues to plague her. Hal works for a shady development company which wants to buy the lovely Bello property adjoining Del Monte and cash in on it by turning it into a huge subdivision.
The more conservation-minded citizens are unalterably opposed to this move, and it is obvious that a serious battle is in the offing.
Hal Crichton has two missions: to persuade Anabel to return to him and to persuade the civic leaders of the practicality of the new subdivision. Anabel, as a result, has two problems, which are interrelated and inseparable from each other. The cast of characters in Miss Dietrich's newest work is large and exceptionally well-drawn. Arthur Bello owns the disputed property and feels he must sell it to keep from being ruined by the exorbitant taxes on agricultural land.
Doris Kandlebinder, chairman of the planning commission, is a widow with too much time on her hands and so sexually starved that she makes an easy mark for Hal's designs. And there are many others, all bound up in an intricately complex plot that will keep the reader in constant suspense. As publishers, we feel that this is one of the most sophisticated and intriguing stories we have ever published.
It will entertain you; it will occasionally shock you-and it will give you a totally new picture of that vast, sprawling, and infinitely variegated state that is California.