Mira, Feb 2004, 5.99, 384 pp.
Carrie and Sam Braydon are about to celebrate twenty-five years of marriage when she gives him an ultimatum. He can renew their vows based on whether he would marry her today if they were not wedded or they can divorce. Sam is confused as both look back over the years starting in 1977 when she informed him that she was pregnant. He immediately offered to marry her and she accepts. Carrie wants Sam to remarry her only if he really wants to spend the rest of their lives together.
Over the years, the couple has two children, manages several businesses, held several jobs, and were forced by economics to live separately at times. Her family and his aunt provide caring support though her mother hates Sam. His father who killed his mother is freed from prison and he has a negative impact on the family. Still it is the twenty-first century and the children are gone. Will Sam agree to renew his vows or seek his freedom?
SUBURBAN RENEWAL contains strong lead protagonists and solid support cast whose motivations seem apropos to their personal traits. The rotational first person account between Sam and Carrie enables the audience to see deeper into how each one interprets the same event/incident. Though his father is too nasty to accept anyone would trust him with their children (his grandson lives with him for a time), romance readers will enjoy this powerful character study that showcases the ups and downs of the Braydon bunch.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner