Pocket, Jul 2001, 24.95, 272 pp.
Her best friend Grace provided the remote cabin in New Hampshire so that Cleo McCarthy can concentrate on her writing without distractions. Cleo leaves behind her husband Sean and their two children, ten years old Lily and eight years old Tim. She also knows that there is no community chore she can volunteer to help with in this locale over three hours from Providence.
Across CAMEO LAKE, Cleo hears music. Composer Ben Turner lives as a hermit with only his music as a companion. His neighbors treat Ben like a pariah, blaming him for the accidental death of his wife last year. When Cleo offers a smile with friendship, Ben grabs at it like a life preserver.
However, Sean dumps the kids on Cleo, angering her almost as much as his past indiscretion with another woman. Cleo turns to Ben for support and soon love blossoms. With school just around the corner, Cleo has to decide between responsibility and a lifetime love.
CAMEO LAKE is a powerful character study that digs deep into the souls of the lead protagonists who obtain empathy from the audience. The angst-laden story line will provide much pleasure to readers who enjoy a deep relationship drama. However, Susan Wilson simplifies things a bit too much by making Sean into a fist class jerk. The novel is well written, but had possibilities of greatness if Sean was treated as a more responsible supportive adult.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner