Five Star, Oct 2002, 25.95, 245 pp.
Fourteen years ago, Maggie Adamson left her husband and their Paradise Ranch, Wyoming home to relocate in California. Maggie never explained why she left Hale even though she felt he was a good caring husband. Now Maggie returns to Wyoming having bought the Herb Miller spread that abuts the former ranch she shared with Hale allegedly to spend time with her beloved daughter Jilly who recently accepted employment in nearby Boulder.
In truth the relocation of Jilly makes it easier for Maggie to come home. She has come back to fix the mess of things she left behind when she deserted Hale. Maggie has no plans to reconcile in a romantic sense with her husband, but she knows the time to heal and rectify a secret that she has hidden is past due.
THE TERRAIN OF PARADISE is an intriguing relationship drama that focuses on one's ability to go home if the individual keeps a positive attitude of rectifying mistakes. The story line is well written, as readers become interested in what happens to Maggie and why she left in the first place, as she clearly loves Hale. Though Hale shows no resentment over Maggie leaving him even if fourteen years have past, the audience will appreciate him as a caring individual and find Jilly as an enchanting young adult. Still Barbara Haynie's tale belongs to the female lead; whose actions past and present and the reactions to them are what the novel is all about.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner