Ballantine, Dec 2004, 22.95, 336 pp.
For almost two decades Polly struggled to maintain a positive relationship with her mother-in-law, the frozen tundra Claudia. She vowed to warmly welcome the wife of her son David into the family. However, she has deep concerns when David weds a Birkenstock organic farmer Amy; she struggles with her relationship with David.
Reticent PhD candidate Beth Grey and athletic carpenter Sonny Young fall in love. However, she feels like an intruder because his outgoing family displays open affection while she grew up in quiet shelter. He thinks she hesitates because he has no college degree.
In her late thirties, Carolyn Sperry overworks trying to keep the family business at the forefront of the market. However, she is pregnant and suffers from high blood pressure; her doctor tells her to rest and relax. The problem is neither the business nor her spouse Hank; it is her septuagenarian father who eloped with an average looking shy bank clerk younger than she is.
Thirty years old photographer Julia married widower dentist Tim Hathaway. With Tim comes his young daughter Belinda, whose manipulations of the adults would please Machiavelli. Adding to Julia's woes is Tim's mother-in-law demands that Belinda move in with her.
Four new women struggling with family relationships.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner