Plume, Apr 2004, 13.00, 336 pp.
Yuppies David and Libby argue whether they should go on sabbatical and travel along with their newborn for a year or so. Bored playing house mother though she loves her child, Libby wants to say yes to David's pleadings, but wonders if that is a good idea for their baby. As they debate the issue of travels with Charlie, their new neighbor lonely Maggie hears everything through the paper thin walls. She becomes excited especially when the couple next door decides to go to CUBA.
Maggie decides to join her new best friend Libby and her lover David in Havana though neither of the couple is aware of their new roles in their thirty year old neighbor's life. In Havana, Maggie sets in motion a plan to accomplish her agenda starting with babysitting little Charlie.
Emily Barr takes her usual theme (see BACKPACK and BAGGAGE) of a young couple on the road in environs that neither one is prepared for as recriminations fling back and forth threatening relationships. Though somewhat by the numbers, the story line avoids going too deep into a melodramatic stalking plot by emphasizing the characters starting with Maggie's mental state and the flaws of the yuppie couple that jeopardizes their marriage. Fans of on the road and readers of psychological suspense (except travel agents) will appreciate Ms. Barr's skills of placing everyday people in extraordinary scenarios that test their mettle.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner