Scribner, June 2003, 26.00, 368 pp.
Therapist Casey Ellis is attending the funeral of renowned psychologist Cornelius Unger, a respected person in his field. Casey feels melancholy because Cornelius is the father who never acknowledged her and never made any effort to talk to her even when she enrolled in one of his classes. At the end of the funeral, his lawyer tells Casey that her father left her his Beacon Hill townhouse with the request that she keep on the maid and the gardener.
At first Casey doesn't want anything to do with the home out of loyalty to her mother who has been in a coma for the last three years and is not expected to wake up. When one of her partners in her group practice absconds with the rent money, Casey decides to open a solo practice at her father's townhouse. There she meets the handsome gardener Jordan; they start a relationship. She also becomes involved with a manuscript her father left for her about a woman who he treated as an outcast by the town she lives in and is afraid of the father who is coming home from prison after six years for killing her mother.
Barbara Delinsky has written a moving tale of two women having to cope with severe traumas, one fighting her problems alone and the therapist having a support system that carries her through each crisis. One of this author's greatest talents is to write about people who immediately establish rapport with the audience so that readers care what happens to them. FLIRTING WITH PETE is a memorable work of women's fiction.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner