Pocket, Nov 2002, 6.99, 256 pp.
Widower Jonathan Cisco becomes upset when his mother Loretta breaks her arm. With his mother suffering from a bad case of cataracts and some hearing problems, Jonathan moves the objecting Loretta into an assisted living facility in nearby Laurel Hills, Pennsylvania.
However, his three children (Sam, Hannah, and Sara), better known as the Trips as they are triplets, object. They feel their beloved granny needs her own place and take charge of seeing to her health needs. The Trips also pray that their daddy will have a catharsis so he sees what he is doing to his family and what a loser his fiancée Alexandra “never sweating” Prentice really is.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME is a toasty holiday tale (even in wintry Pennsylvania) that lifts the spirit of the audience though there are some flaws that most readers will opt to ignore. The assisted living facility is treated as a dump making the removal of granny quite easy to understand; Alexandra is an obvious loser so wanting her dropped is easy to accept; and everything ends in a neat ribbon wrapped coupling of everyone. Still, the story line makes one feel good so that readers will believe they received a gift from the magi as Fern Michaels provides good cheer to one and all in this warm family drama.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner