A forty-eight year old widow's passion for a man almost twenty years younger than her threatens everything she holds dear-her daughters' love most of all. Especially after she discovers she is pregnant. Each daughter has her own problem with their mothers choice. For Alice, this love affair is a violation of her fathers memory. And for Laura, who was recently divorced, partly due to the fact that she couldn't conceive, the irony of the situation is painful. The murder of two people in town adds an interesting subplot to this novel. One of those books you will fly through.
This report prepared by Kim Mills
Viking, Jun 2001, 24.95, 320 pp.
In Carson Springs, California, change is everywhere for the Kiley females. Alice marries Wesley Carpenter, a kind person older than her mother. Alice's sister, recently divorced Laura, looks sad as the happy couple exchanges their vows. Following the church ceremony, the mother of the bride, a widow Samantha, needs a ride to the reception when her car fails to start. The son of the groom Ian provides a lift to the party hosted by Sam.
Ian and Sam share a banter that leads to an attraction, dating, and a hot affair. Alice is mortified that her mom is stepping out on her deceased but idolized dad. Laura is stunned more when her mom becomes pregnant something that she wants but her body cannot accomplish. Instead, Laura brings into her home Brooklyn teenage runaway Finch. The goings-on of the Kiley women shock the residents of this coastal town.
STRANGER IN PARADISE is an interesting look at third and fourth generation Californians. The story line consists of three subplots that tie together through the relationships of the Kiley trio. The lead women are fully developed while the key secondary players are refined enough to supplement the Kiley females. However, the effort to compare reactions to the younger woman-older man vs. the younger man-older woman theme seems obsolete in today's age of so many couples pairing with both types of backgrounds. Still Eileen Goudge is so talented that her tale will send her fans to reader's paradise because she provides another entertaining tale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner