St. Martin's, May 2004, 13.95, 368 pp.
In Charleston, South Carolina, computer repair guru Claire Bennett thought her job was safe even with downsizing at Middleton Corporation; however after two years of employment, she is let go at a time she still deals with her older brother's bills. Brooke Dunlap is not concerned about losing her job at Middleton because she expects to marry wealthy Randolph Peterson III; instead she is downsized and her beau dumps her leaving behind the bills. Both women are shocked and not sure about their respective futures.
Claire's friend Lorraine Averhart loves her spouse and her adult children, but is bored. She distributes Claire's homemade body lotion to her peers at a book club and everyone loves it and wants to buy the product. Lorraine thinks the three women can sell Claire's beauty products. As the entrepreneurs take off professionally, their personal lives still flounder but none of the trio seems concerned because through thick and thin and disputes they remain friends.
LIKE THE FIRST TIME is an inspiring tale of courage and loyalty providing a ray of hope for the future no matter how dark it seems. Readers will appreciate the three women, who come across as neighbors because Francis Ray insures that her audience understands what makes them tick from their greatest fears to their greatest desires. Contemporary fans will take immense delight in a solid novel that encourages everyone to be all that they can be (even “Mcbook” reviewers).
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner