Ballantine, May 2003, 22.95, 336 pp.
Six years ago Justine's beloved mother, popular chef Pauline Pagett, died, but Justine has not let go. Instead she feels betrayed by her sister and father, as she never had the opportunity for closure. Instead of moping in Manhattan, Justine fled to Paris where she has lived and worked on a magazine. When her lover, Chef Henri St. Pierre, reveals he stole recipes from his mentor, Justine exposes him. Henri sues as he insists she invaded his privacy as this was bedroom talk not article discussion.
Her angry editor sends Justine back to New York where she is to write the biography of renowned musical conductor Sophie DeLyon. To Justine this is a chance to regain her reputation, but burying the hatchet with her family she feels will prove too difficult for her. As she meets Sophie's family and renews her relationship with Austen Bell, the superstar's former son-in-law, a brief lover, she finds her subject much more complex than she expected.
This is an engaging relationship drama that emphasizes the need for closure when a beloved individual dies. The story takes off back in the States as the audience observes an insightful look at dysfunctional families with a lot of romance on the side.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner