Goldberg Variations by Susan Isaacs
A Novel

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Imagine King Lear as a comedy . . .

Elegant, amusing, and profoundly nasty tycoon Gloria Garrison, née Goldberg, has a kingdom to bequeath to one of the grandchildren she barely knows. They’re all twentysomethings who foolishly believe money isn’t everything. Just shy of eighty, Gloria doesn’t wish to watch the minutes tick by while the three dither over the issues of their generation—love, meaning, identity. She has summoned them all from New York for a weekend at her palatial home in Santa Fe. She has a single question to ask them: “Which one of you most deserves to inherit my business?” Gloria never anticipates the answer will be “not interested” times three. She created a brilliant, booming beauty business, Glory, Inc., that not only does well, but does good. And they say “no”? What’s so grand about their lives that they would reject such a kingdom?

Daisy Goldberg is not only mad for movies, she’s part of the film industry: East Coast story editor for one of the biggest studios. Her brother, Matt, the über–sports buff, has a great job in public relations with Major League Baseball. And their cousin Raquel Goldberg, half-Latina, all Catholic, is a Legal Aid lawyer. They may like their work, but do they really like their lives? Would they be so foolish as to hold against their grandmother the pain she inflicted on every member of the family? As far as Gloria is concerned, this isn’t about tender feelings. It’s about millions of dollars; it’s about living a life the ninety-nine percent dream of and the one percent know.

The weekend is full of surprises, not only for Daisy, Matt, and Raquel but also for Gloria. Memories have a way of intruding at the most inopportune times. And is Gloria’s tough hide as impenetrable as she has always believed? Susan Isaacs is at her formidable best in Goldberg Variations, a novel that is both wickedly witty and a deeply moving tale of family and reconciliation.

About Susan Isaacs

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Susan Isaacs is the author of thirteen novels, including As Husbands Go, Any Place I Hang My Hat, Long Time No See, and Compromising Positions. She is a former editor of Seventeen and a freelance political speechwriter. She lives on Long Island with her husband. All of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers.
Published October 2, 2012 by Scribner. 338 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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She started Glory years earlier after leaving her husband, Joe, in New York and moving to New Mexico with her sons, Travis, whom she adored, and Bradley, whom she barely tolerated.

Aug 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Goldberg Variations: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The King Lear implications are not lost on the crusty 79-year-old CEO, who broods that Lear’s “two bad daughters, at least, want the kingdom,” calling her own unruly progeny “my thankless flesh and blood.” Prolific veteran Isaacs (Any Place I Hang My Hat) creates a deliciously wicked ta...

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Goldberg Variations: A Novel


Isaacs is a recipient of the Writers for Writers Award and the John Steinbeck Award.

Nov 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Goldberg Variations: A Novel

Book Reporter

In GOLDBERG VARIATIONS, New York Times bestselling author Susan Isaacs writes about how family and business relationships can become intertwined.

Oct 12 2012 | Read Full Review of Goldberg Variations: A Novel

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Jan 21 2013 | Read Full Review of Goldberg Variations: A Novel

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