Onyx, Feb 2004, 6.99, 384 pp.
Three years ago in Cordelia, Missouri Lilac Ryan's husband died in a car crash because they were negligent in fixing bad brakes. That same day bookseller Lilac lost her unborn. Now she suffers guilt partially for living and for her part in the disregard of car repair.
Country rock star Jonathan Van Castle heads home to pick up his two children from his ex-wife before stopping to perform at Lake Kesebwi, but gets off the tour bus in Cordelia for a breather. When he is recognized by rapid fans, he ducks into Lilac's bookstore but the proprietor fails to identify him. Lilac thinks he is a jerk because he knows so little about his kids. He buys books for them, but one is left on order that Lila promises to deliver.
When Lilac's sister Mari delivers the book, Jonathan sees how great she is with his children so he proposes a marriage of convenience because he wants to help his troubled children, but realizes they also need a nurturing mother. When Jonathan and his children meet Mari's stunned extended family, he realizes he picked the wrong sister as Lilac is great with his preadolescents and he quickly falls in love with her.
SING ME HOME is an intriguing family drama starring a vast band of players so that it is difficult at times to keep track of specific personalities. Still the story line is fun to follow as a desperate Jonathan struggles with a solution to help his problematic kids. Lilac admits she feels guilty, but is so good in relationships with everyone that she seems to have moved on. The ensemble adds chaos and depth to an intriguing romance between wounded warriors.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner