Kensington, Dec 2003, 24.00, 320 pp.
After returning from Africa, journalist Kira Forester returns home to find a letter from the North Carolina Division of Social Services waiting for her. The letter informs Kira that her six year old niece is no longer in foster care and is in the home of Ralph and Helen Roper waiting for the adoption to go through. The person handling the adoption Evan Conley, the owner of Sheltering Hearts Placement Agency, is the one to contact if she has any questions.
When she finally meets with Evan, Kira is upset to learn that white people are adopting her niece. The color or lack of color of their skin adds guilt to Kira, who never tried to assume responsibility for her niece because she felt she wasn't suited at the time to be a full time mother. Evan persuades Kira that a trans-racial adoption can work if all parties are willing, which mean the Ropers and Kira have to put Vicky's needs first.
Anita Bunkley addresses some very serious social issues while entertaining readers with a fascinating true-to-life storyline. The plot is fast-moving with plenty of action while the romance between Kira and Evan moves at a realistic pace. The story is told in the third person by all the major characters point of view so the audience will understand the motivations of the characters at all times. RELATIVE INTEREST is an unusually good relationship drama with powerful casting.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner