Atria, Feb 2003, 24.00, 352 pp.
In 1981 Indigo Valley, Pennsylvania, on a dare from her friends, ten years old Cady Jordan sets off on her bike to do a stunt, but just before she begins, teenage bully Jeff King jumps on for the ride. However, someone slung cable across their path so when the bike hits the taut obstacle, the two kids fly through the air. Cady suffers a head injury leading to a loss of memory. Jeff dies from an apparent rock thrown at him.
Two decades later, a mentally messed up Cady resides in California while still unable to recall what happened on that fatal day. When her ailing grandmother asks her to come for a visit to her Pennsylvania mansion, Cady travels east. Her childhood pals from the deadly incident feel guilty for allowing Cady to shoulder the entire blame. They and Cady, along with Boomer Maxwell, who was also there, try to figure out what really went down even while a reporter begins an investigation too.
Though the story line seems obvious and all the kids except Cady and Jeff who were at the incident remain in town as adults, fans of Fern Michaels will enjoy this engaging romantic suspense. The story line moves forward rather quickly once Cady returns to her hometown. The key cast members will gain empathy from the audience as Ms. Michaels does what she does best, insuring her readers feel the angst of several protagonists. LATE BLOOMER is an entertaining action-packed yarn that is fun to read.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner