The first book by Mary O'Sullivan. I hadn't read any of Mary's books previously, but recently I became aware through friends of all her books, so I began with the first, Parting Company.
Mary's characters become real on the pages for the reader, and I couldn't help feeling for Claire Hearn as she struggled to be recognised as a serious scientist who was on the threshold of making a breakthrough in a cure for cancer.
Her husband Brendan had married her for her wealth and position - he was made a partner of the family business by Claire's father on their marriage. Brendan had big plans for the plant though and wasn't happy with the way Claire's father was running the business where the staff were more like old friends.
Brendan agrees to contracting the plant to a huge pharmaceutical company who don't play by the rules of society; they play their money making rules without any care as to whether it destroys communities or not.
As the story is woven around the main characters and minor characters who add colour to the story, it becomes apparent that both Claire and her mother are not the weak, pathetic little wives of powerful men after all. They are both strong willed and know exactly what they want and how to get it.
It was a joy to read how Brendan, the cheating, cruel, conniving husband and son-in-law, gets his just desserts in the end.
A truly enjoyable and enthralling tale.