Warner, Jan 2004, 23.95
In San Francisco, Blair Clemens works as a chef while raising her teenaged daughter Amanda by herself. The two female Clemens are best friends, resulting in neither having pals their age. Blair is contented with her life mostly because of Amanda. However, her harmonious life collapses when Blair learns that she is dying from melanoma for she fears for her cherished daughter.
Since his wife Emily deserted him, screenwriter Luke Bellingham has hidden in the mountains. However, his prep school reunion committee assigns him to find "lost souls" so that they can attend the gala. His first missing alumni is Blair because though they ran in different circles, he wrote an Academy Award-winning script based on the true story of her being raped. Surprisingly Luke and Blair hit it off and he begins to win over the suspicious Amanda. However, a pregnant Emily demands he take her back. Will he choose his spouse and their unborn child or will he opt for a dying woman and her teenage daughter though secrets revealed later will make his selection much easier.
This is a solid relationship drama starring three delightful protagonists who readers will like and hope for a miracle to occur. Though Ellen Sussman makes the difficult choice too easy for the ethical Luke and a subplot involving a teen-adult romance script adds nothing, the overall tale is a powerful character study. Fans will feel for empathy for the trio, but especially towards Blair as she nears death in an upbeat manner because she now knows adult love and that he cares deeply for her beloved Amanda.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner