Disclosure by Michael Crichton

Title and author's name are all that's disclosed on front cover
Inside the circle says, “A NOVEL.”

Michael Crichton’s novel Disclosure is not about disclosure. It’s about all kinds of deception.

Crichton sets his novel in the early 1990s in Seattle where DigiCom is developing a virtual reality device for information storage and retrieval. Tom Sanders, who has overseen the development of the Twinkle, hopes he’s up for promotion when DigiCom merges with educational publisher Conley-White, and Tom’s division is spun off into a separate company.

The day the merger is supposed to be announced, Tom learns the company is being restructured. Instead of being promoted, he will report to his ex-lover of a decade earlier, Meredith Johnson.

After a late-day meeting with Meredith, Tom finds himself accused of sexual harassment. He hires a lawyer and fights back, claiming that Meredith was the harasser.

Thus, Crichton sets up a story about sexual harassment with a male as the victim. For readers today, the edge is off that story.

What’s interesting today is what has not changed in those 30-plus years in employment law:  societal attitudes about women’s roles, the number of women in executive positions, the world of high technology manufacturing. Crichton’s observation remains true today:

“We all live every day in virtual environments, defined by our ideas.”

Disclosure by Michael Crichton
Alfred A. Knopf ©1993. 397 p.
1994 bestseller #10; my grade: B+

©2020 Linda G. Aragoni

No Time for Tears, only for business

No Time for Tears is Cynthia Freeman’s aptly named novel about a Jewish woman too busy keeping her family together to regret what she does to accomplish it.

Spine of No Time for Tears
No dust jacket on this library copy of No Time for Tears

Chavala Rabinsky becomes head of her family at 16 when her mother dies in childbirth. She promptly proposes to Dovid Landau, whom her parents have treated like family.

She knows Dovid will be the father to her five siblings that Avrum Rabinsky is too grief-stricken to be.

Chavala is surprised to find she loves him.

Realizing the Russian pograms are going to get worse, Chavala convinces Dovid the family must emigrate.

She wants to go to America, but the men are set on Palestine.

Chavala’s financial acumen gets them there.

Eretz Yisroel isn’t the promised land they expected.

After World War I, Chavala and Dovid separate.

Dovid remains to build the Jewish homeland.

Chavala goes to New York with two brothers and one sister for whom she makes a home. She builds a multimillion-dollar business to support them and the son conceived in Israel.

Freeman’s builds her story entirely of character sketches, sabotages what personalities survive by an unbelievable plot, and produces an entirely forgettable novel.

No Time for Tears by Cynthia Freeman
Arbor House. ©1981. 411 p.
1981 bestseller #10. My grade: C

© 2019 Linda G. Aragoni