Atria, Oct 2003, 25.00
The fire destroys the converted farmhouse that the three sixty something ladies Grace, Amelia, and Hannah, and one adult daughter Laura call home. The elderly trio lost personal items that cannot be replaced, but the threesome are troopers and makes plans for a new house with more bathrooms.
Meanwhile Amelia and Grace move in with Bob in his condominium, while Hannah and her daughter Laura moves to another family-owned home. The fire brings back bad memories for Amelia who relives the death of her young daughter and the accident that killed her husband and left her scarred. The building begins, but though hopes for the future are raised, other events shake the tight friendships. Laura plans to marry but also leans towards an abortion that upsets her mother. Amelia returns to photography. Bob asks Grace to marry him. Who will move into the new home when its finished becomes questionable.
The fourth Covington tale is gentle Southern breeze of a story that requires a mint julep, a porch, and a warm fall day. The story line brings out the personalities of the prime four females and several support players, but clearly lacks any extensive action. Fans of a cozy character study will want to visit Covington for this novel and its previous three books.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner