I have to admit that the book is pretty bad and repetitive. I will do my best to make this a short version without any descriptions of Crystal's beauty or whatnot. What will I do? Try to make chapters and just give main points. (Checks book, notices 44 chapters) wow this will be long... and also, since this is chapter by chapter, I will purposely include spoilers and plot twists so beware as you read it.
Basically this chapter begins with Crystal swimming and singing and how she loves the land. Her older sister Becky is getting married and it deals with preparations for the wedding such as food, the clothes she will be wearing for the wedding, etc. This also gives some background of the family and discusses their distaste towards foreigners, in particular for Boyd and Hiroko Webster. (This possibly takes place in 1946?)
Becky and her husband, Tom Parker marry, but Tom begins to flirt with Boyd's sister Ginny. A commanding officer, Spencer Hill shows up; he is twenty-seven while Crystal is fourteen I think. He and Crystal talk, the wedding is concluded, there is mention of the difficulties that Boyd and Hiroko have, and how Spencer in the end have supported them. At the end of the chapter, both Crystal and Spencer have fallen in love with each other.
Okay, here are the main events: 10 months later or so, Becky gave birth to a son, there is rumors that Ginny Webster is possibly pregnant. Hiroko is also pregnant and Crystal became secret best friend of Hiroko. She and Spencer meet once again where she sings in front of the crowd (takes place at a christening of Becky's son.) and the two get to know each other a little more and think they are in love with each other. At the end they part.
More history of Spencer Hill is given; he had a brother named Robert who died in Guam and left behind a widow and two daughters and that he is planning on being a lawyer, although his father is hoping for him to become a congressman. He goes to dinner at his father friend's house, Judge Barclay and meets eighteen year old Elizabeth Barclay with whom he develops an attraction for, as she does for him. The chapter finishes with him leaving the house and thinking of Crystal.
Spencer returns home and feels that his family expects him to become his dead brother. There is a hint of matchmaking towards the widow Barbara and himself. He also is uncertain and doubts the choice of studying law. It is also revealed that his father wants him to take up politics.
This chapter gives more focus to Crystal and its from 1947 until spring of 1948. Crystal and Hiroko's friendship deepened even more. Jared has a girlfriend in another town and Becky is pregnant again. Tom is a poor ranch manager and its probable that he's abusive towards Becky. Ginny Webster was indeed pregnant and got married to someone around the time she was seven months. Crystal's father becomes sick and drifts in and out until he dies in his sleep with Crystal by his side. He tells Crystal to see the world and come back to the ranch once her mother is gone. Crystal's mother becomes angry and at the end of the chapter accuses Crystal of sleeping with somebody.
On April 3rd, 1948, Hiroko finally gives birth to a baby girl named Jane Keiko Webster.(Keiko after Hiroko's sister who died in Hiroshima.) At first she has difficult time with giving birth but Crystal manages to help her out all because of her knowledge of delivering horses. The relationship between her and her mother has been deteriorating and her mother has been on her case a lot.
Crystal also takes care of Becky and Tom's son Willie and again there is mention of endless chores by her mother and Becky. Tom begins developing an attraction towards Crystal. Crystal also becomes Jane Keiko Webster's godmother and its revealed that Ginny, Boyd's sister, is having an affair with Tom. In the same year, 1948, Crystal turns seventeen years old and her sister has a baby girl.
Spencer's parents do attempt to set him up with his brother's widow but aren't successful. Spencer begins to enjoy working for the law firm and he even gets invited to Elizabeth father's Supreme Court induction where he meets up with Elizabeth and the two begin to talk and get to know each other. Elizabeth is pretty ambitious and isn't sentimental, while Spencer is. He also takes out Elizabeth on a "date" and thinks about possibly calling her.
Spencer decides not to call her, but instead, Elizabeth makes the first move and invites him to a party with her brother and his wife. He has a fun time and begins to be more involved in Elizabeth's world, and even starts to date her. She attempts to propose to him but he refuses her advances although they start being lovers in the book. He leaves the state then and promises to call her. (Possibly 1948-1949?)
Everyone turned against Crystal and blamed her for everything. Becky blamed her flirting with Tom, Jared, her brother, threatened to tell their mother about her visits to Hiroko. In January of 1949, Crystal started working as a waitress and saved up 400 or more dollars. At a restaurant she is liked by the owner. Tom visits her and harrasses her though. In March of the same year, Tom finds Crystal, tells her that her sister Becky is pregnant once again and proceeds to rape her. Crystal gets inside the car and drives out to the Websters in the state she is in and that's where the chapter ends.
The Websters brought Crystal back and Crystal's mother is filled with hate and doesn't believe her and accuses her of being a tramp. Crystal, being angry at everyone and hating them as well picks up the gun and along with her brother Jared runs outside. Jared tries to stop her but doesn't succeed. Meanwhile Tom also grabs a gun. Crystal arrives, takes shots and misses him, while Tom makes shots as well and kills Jared.
Jared is buried and Crystal's mother chases her from the ranch. She tells her mother that she'll never come back and the chapter ends with her singing songs to Jared.
Crystal briefly stays with Hiroko and Boyd and realizes that she can't finish school so she boards the bus, tells the Websters goodbye and with 500 dollars leaves towards San Francisco.
Crystal gets to San Francisco and rents a room with Mrs. Castagna in Italian? District. She and Mrs. Castagna like one another and Mrs. Castagna allows her perks that she doesn't let others have. Few weeks later, Crystal gets a job at a restaurant called Harry's and becomes friends with another waitress named Pearl.
Crystal practiced with Pearl for her debut until June of 1950? and when she made it, everyone enjoyed her singing. She also met the owner Harry. Mrs. Castagna asks Crystal to sing for her and when she does, Mrs. Castagna tells Crystal taht one day she'll be famous and that she'd better remember that she is the one who said it. Crystal is also beginning to like San Francisco.
Spencer is continuing to be involved with Elizabeth and even invited her to his firm's party. Elizabeth and her family expects more of him but he can't give her that. (He is thirty while she is twenty-one,) He claims of being a dreamer while Elizabeth is a realist. At the end they make plans to go to Lake Tahoe and Spencer has hopes of possibly visiting Crystal.
In the end Spencer does fly out to California and spends his only week with Elizabeth and her family. He confesses he's in love with her and then proposes to her. They agree to get married in June (1951?) ten months from the proposal. He never visits Crystal or Hiroko and Boyd.
Spencer and Elizabeth's family got along very well and when he flew again to California, they went out to a club. There Spencer recognized Crystal but wasn't able to meet up with her. Elizabeth noticed he recognized the girl but Spencer lied about it.
Spencer lies to Elizabeth about visiting a friend and instead visits Crystal. He gets brief updates about her dead father and brother although she doesn't tell him about being raped by brother-in-law. He asks about the Websters and is told that Hiroko is expecting another child. He walks her to the apartment and they kiss briefly and confess their feelings for one another and Spencer makes up his mind to get Crystal no matter what.
Spencer makes an attempt to break up with Elizabeth but she convinces him that he has cold feet and assures him its normal while he thinks its something else. He tries to talk to a partner, George Montgomery who also tells him that its a case of cold feet. Crystal sees the news of Spencer being engaged and she is upset and they decide to break things up now. He tries to send her a letter but the letter comes back unopened.
In 1951, they finally got married and everything went well for them. Elizabeth was nostalgic about the dress and couldn't believe that it was only one time thing. McCarthy hunts began as well. Crystal was upset about seeing the wedding in the local papers. Spencer, however, didn't withdraw from reserves and when troubles began in Korea, he was called in and left Elizabeth behind. Elizabeth's father arranges for her to go back and finish Vassar and Elizabeth is upset at the fates. In the end she ends up staying with her parents.
While waiting to be called up, Spencer stays in Barclays' house and is lonely. Crystal turns nineteen meanwhile (1951) and Harry's becomes popular. She is still staying with Mrs. Castagna; Tom is still carrying on with Boyd's sister Ginny. Boyd and Hiroko's baby was in breech position and had died. The midwife did save Hiroko's life however. Spencer drives out to where Crystal is at and meets up with her. He stays the rest of the time with her, even has sex with her. Crystal also tells him that Tom raped her but he is supportive of her.In the end he leaves and promises to write her letters.
Spencer went to Korea and only talked with Elizabeth when he had to. Meanwhile Crystal's grandmother Minerva passed away, Tom Parker, her brother in law went to fight in Korea so Becky and her mother are now running the ranch. Crystal also decides not to go back to the funeral. Also, despite Crystal's attempts to hide Spencer, Mrs. Castagna found out but ignores it because she likes Crystal.
1951-1953? Spencer debates on the decision of Crystal vs. Elizabeth and grows spiteful and hateful of the war in Korea. Elizabeth sells of the house and gets a new one in Washington and starts a job for House of Un-American Activities. She has no sympathies towards Spencer. Soon Spencer stops writing to both of them. Meanwhile Crystal visits the valley and stays with the Websters. Becky has three children, and her husband was killed in Korea. Crystal is also visited by Hollywood agents and after Spencer stops writing, she visits the agents, meets Ernesto Salvatore aka Ernie and says goodbye to Pearl. She spends a magical week in Hollywood, signs a contract that she doesn't understand and goes to Brown Derby with Ernie. He drops her off and Crystal then prepares to work on a movie without a singing part.
Ernie begins his seduction of Crystal by doing little things for her and eventually inviting her to his house. Crystal accepts the invitation without knowing where they are going. In there Ernie seduces Crystal into having sex with him which Crystal enjoys. She tells him about when she was raped and he is a charmer basically. Eventually she returns to work feeling that what she is doing is wrong.
Ernie manages to seduce Crystal, even coercing her to moving in with him. They begin to "date". Eventually Ernie gets a good offer of the movie for Crystal and she begins to work on it. Spencer finally writes to her, his letter forwarded by Pearl to Crystal. Crystal never responds to it though. The Korean war is over then at last Spencer can return home.
Spencer returns home and is continued to be tormented by the thought of Crystal vs. Elizabeth. Elizabeth is too busy with her job and politics, having no desire for domestic life, while Spencer seems to be opposite. Plus Elizabeth's brother and his wife don't want children. He drives over to Crystal's previous haunts and finds out that Crystal no longer lives with Mrs. Castagna who passed away shortly after she moved, and learns that she is in Hollywood.
Spencer begins to feel annoyed with Elizabeth and her family. His father attempts to talk to him about staying with Elizabeth, reminding Spencer of the fact she waited three years for him. Elizabeth isn't receptive to his needs or desires by constantly getting to go to parties while he wants to be alone. He at last makes up his mind and goes to Hollywood. He meets Crystal and learns that she lives with Ernie and still loves him. She is also in the middle of filming a movie. He is concerned with the contract that Salvatore had her signed and still wants to marry her. He tells her that he will divorce Elizabeth, but Crystal asks for few more months before being with him and he has no choice but to comply with her desires. With promises of together forever they look toward the future but Ernie spies them and thus ends Chapter 29.
Spencer travels to Nappa Valley to pay tribute to what Crystal was before the changes. The year is still 1953. He drives back home then and attempts to reason with Elizabeth on getting divorce but she's stubborn and refuses to do so despite the fundamental differences between. In the end he has no choice but to be with her. Meanwhile, Ernie found out about Spencer, raped Crystal and threatened to kill her if she even dared to go back to Spencer. He reminded her that he owned her.
Spencer again makes attempts to convince Elizabeth to divorce but again no luck. This time she will drag him to a party where he will meet her father's friend who offers him a job. Crystal is again threatened many times by Ernie and when Spencer calls her, she breaks things off. Ernie listens in to the conversation and feels proud of her and then they go to her premiere party.
1953-1954. Spencer attempts to move on with his life and begins to like politics. The damage to his and Elizabeth's marriage has already been done for the worse and they pretended to like one another. In November of 1954 when Spencer turned thirty-five years of age, Crystal calls him and tells him she's in jail. Ernie has be murdered and she is the suspect because she has no alibi and he was killed in the house. Spencer tells her he'll be out in Los Angeles to get her out and Elizabeth threatens to divorce him if he goes to her and reminds him that he's not a criminal attorney. Spencer doesn't care and flies out.
1954-1955. Spencer grills and regrills Crystal about Ernie and finds out lots of bad details about him. Elizabeth is still nonchalant and all about saving face ratehr than marriage. The trial takes place, Crystal is found innocent of murder and the two of them leave Hollywood.
They spend time rediscovering one another and talking to each other about everything. Crystal has no one now, while Spencer is tied to Elizabeth. Spencer longs to back to the valley along with Crystal to see how things are. Due to the spectacle, he loses his job in Washington, although he gets a mysterious call from a minor senator whom he doesn't even know.
Crystal and Spencer drive out to the valley where Crystal sees her old friends Hiroko and Boyd and both are happy to see one another. Crystal gets news that her sister Becky has remarried and has two more kids and lives in Wyoming while her mother is dying. By accident she and Boyd drive on the wrong road past the ranch and Crystal comes inside where her mother makes a confession to her that her father left her everything of the ranch. Crystal thinks that at last she understands why everyone hates her. Crystal's mother dies shortly and Crystal feels home at last.
1955. Spencer and Crystal spend time at the ranch where they get to know one another again. He calls the senator who followed the trial and wanted Spencer to work for him. Spencer is doubting and refuses to leave Crystal. Crystal then forces him to leave her by telling him that she doesn't want to settle down with him yet. In the end he flies to Washington while Crystal remains at the ranch.
Crystal faints several times and is forced to go to a doctor's office who tells her she is pregnant and that the baby will be due in November. She makes a decision to keep the baby. Spencer's wife Elizabeth continues to refuse to divorce him and Spencer loves his new job. He calls Crystal now and then but Crystal is rude to him and tells him that she found someone else.
Elizabeth continues to stay married to him because he is someone important now and she suspects some truths about Crystal and Spencer such as that Crystal forced him to come back to Washington knowing it would be good for him and she is determined to stay married to him. Spencer buries himself in work and Elizabeth is busy finishing law school. Spencer abandons his romantic notions of romance and now begins to see things the way Elizabeth sees them.
In November of 1955, Crystal's son Zebediah Tad Wyatt is born through much struggle and difficulty. Crystal also lives with Boyd and Hiroko and at last people begin to accept and forgive Hiroko for being Japanese and start to treat her differently. They beomce Zebediah's godparents and Jane becomes his adopted "aunt".
November 26 1956-1960. Due to some problems with the ranch Crystal makes a choice to go back to Hollywood. There she runs into some trouble due to her past until she runs into someone who respected her, Lou. He gives her two directors and she calls them both. She does a screen test and meets with Brian Ford a dignified director who gives her a chance and she becomes an actress once again. She makes good movies, becomes involved with the director who is a far cry from Ernie and eventually wins an Academy Award. Spencer sees the show, hears the name Zeb and thinks its Brian and regrets the decision to let her go, although he suspects that its because of his career that she gave him up.
1960. Crystal is invited to a Presidential Ball and while there she meets with Spencer who confesses his feelings to her. Brian figures out that Spencer is the father of the baby, although Spencer himself doesn't know that yet. Elizabeth is happy that she is married to someone important and is thirty one years of age. They have no children. Spencer does promise that he will see her.
1961-1963. Crystal and Brian end their affair although they remain good friends. She and Spencer began their affair though for two years until Jack F Kennedy is shot. Spencer, who is one of his aids is fine and Crystal begins to cry for the bygone days.
1963. After Kennedy's death, Spencer realizes he loves Kennedy and at long last he finally leaves Elizabeth and tells her goodbye. Elizabeth is thirty-four and he encourages her to be in politics while he will be going to California and to Crystal.
He surprises Crystal by flying over to the valley and sees Zeb and realizes the truth taht Zeb is his son. At last the two lovebirds are together. There are hints of future children in the children and that at last they are happy.
Finished writing: December 16th, Thursday, 2010