By People Staff
October 15, 2001 12:00 PM

by Bebe Moore Campbell

Once upon a time in a place called Los Angeles, two fair young maids dream of a better life as they scrub toilets in a fancy hotel. Hosanna, who is black, and Gilda, a Holocaust survivor, become friends, then business partners. But evil forces—betrayal and prejudice—gobble up their happy ending.

Fifty years later Hosanna’s daughter—and heiress to her mother’s rage—must reclaim what Gilda, now head of a giant cosmetics company, took from her family. Campbell has created an urban fairy tale spanning three generations, but she doesn’t sugarcoat the realities facing her characters. (Putnam, $25.95)

Bottom Line: Honor this debt