St. Martin's, Jan 2002, 6.50, 320 pp.
Luke Becker's wife Belinda died three years ago so his overbearing mother-in-law, Cora, moved in to help raise his eleven-year-old daughter, Rose. Cora turns the home into a shrine for her daughter while Rose turns into a surly child and Luke hates life, feeling like he lives in hell. Luke concludes he needs a mother for Rose and advertises accordingly. Alyssa Cannon of Chicago responds and agrees to journey to Oregon on the ticket Luke provided for her.
Alyssa's sister Emily is depressed, having lost her beloved sibling as well as her job as a teacher. Frantic, she uses Alyssa's ticket to travel west hoping that Luke will wed her. Desperate, but irate over the deception, Luke marries Emily almost from the moment of her arrival. However, Luke makes it clear with his words and his actions that though they are married, she will never be his true wife, something that Emily desires.
Powerful realistic characters turn THE BRIDAL VEIL into a stunning tale of second chances at love. The well-written story line hooks the audience through the grieving of Emily, the hopelessness of Luke, the angst of Rose, and the need for Cora to keep her daughter's memory alive. The audience will need a box of tissues handy when reading Alexis Harrington's moving feast.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner