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  • Who is that centerpiece sultry blonde on the cover? She's generally assumed to be Melodie, due to Melodie having a bit more impact on the overall plot. Given that the other figures in the stepback portrait are adult Bart and elderly Cathy and Chris, it might well be assumed that the blonde is Cindy and that this is a family portrait. Her red dress seems to hint at Cindy, as red is her favorite color and she is chided in no less than two scenes for wearing inappropriately skimpy red dresses to family functions. But Jory and Melodie's twin children Deirdre and Darren are also in the portrait, positioned directly before the blonde in a way that implies they are hers, meaning the blonde must be Melodie...except that the man beside her is clearly Bart, not the children's father Jory. While Bart does have an affair with Melodie, it's never even hinted that he might be the father of her children. But (again), it would make sense for the twins to be included in a "family portrait," considering that they are the latest incarnation of "the Devil's Issue" and the last of the Foxworth line, both major themes of the novel. (Jory would likewise be included in such a portrait, but presumably his absence is due to being wheelchair-bound for the majority of the book, which would be a hell of a spoiler to put right on the cover.) But if that's the reasoning for the portrait, then neither Cindy nor Melodie should be present, because neither of them are related to the Foxworths by blood!
    • One can only assume that the reason we didn't get a "family portrait" of Cathy, Chris, and both Cathy's sons (standing) with the grandchildren in front of them, which really would display the last remaining descendants of Malcolm Foxworth, is because this might lead people to believe that Andrews had finally gone off the rails with this incest thing.
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