Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

“Jill tried not to think about Katherine, but it was impossible. The picture of Katherine striding into the hospital and claiming her child pushed aside everything else.” Thus begins the back cover blurb of Private Yearnings, a book I picked up at a thrift store. Written in 1986 by Angelica Aimes, it’s the fifth in a series of Y&R tie-ins released under a “Soaps & Serials” banner. And, dude, I gotta tell you: It’s awesome.

It takes place in 1976, telling the story of newlywed — and newly widowed — Jill, who is battling the manipulative Katherine in court, for control of Phillip’s fortune. Not that Jill, at nineteen, is all that innocent. While her mother Liz, embittered by husband Bill’s battle with cancer and her brother Bruce’s success as a Chicago doctor, is benefiting from Jill’s new status, Jill’s brother Snapper is worried. He wonders if his sweet sister has vanished inside this mercenarial woman she’s becoming. And considering how Jill really resents being hugely pregnant with Phillip III, I think he’s right to be concerned!

In addition to the Foster/Chancellor story, Private Yearnings is also dealing with the forbidden love affair between Bruce and his long-ago sweetheart, Jennifer. They’re both married — Bruce to Regina and Jennifer to Stuart Brooks — and have children, but they can’t stay away from one another. Steamy!

Listen to me reading from the first chapter here.

And in the interest of cultural notation, guess what drink Jill orders a few pages later? A vodka Collins! You certainly would not see that happening onscreen now…


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