Ballantine, Jun 2004, 14.95, 352 pp.
Angela and Conlan Malone divorce after fourteen years of marriage because she never recovered from emotional setbacks caused by her infant's death and a failed adoption. The advertising guru flees Seattle for her hometown of West End, a few hours away. In town, her recently widowed mom and her sisters welcome her home, but the siblings still hold some resentment for the special treatment their dad provided to his Princess while they slaved in the family restaurant, DeSaria's.
Since the fourth grade, Lauren Ribaldo has worked to insure she would never duplicate the loser life of her mother. When she lost her job due to cutbacks, she searched for employment to pay the rent, but high school seniors have limited opportunities. Angela needs to help the teen, finally hiring her as a waitress while she struggles to save the family business. As she helps Lauren improve her life, Angela feels she receives more back as she has the child she always wanted, though she thought it would be playgrounds for a while not fancy dates. Déjà vu will soon test the relationship between these proud folks.
Readers will appreciate this deep relationship drama starring a solid female protagonist struggling with emotional setbacks and a fine support crew that brings Angela further alive for the audience. The story line is filled with emotional excitement whether it is the restaurant, the broken link with Conlan or the growing relationship between Angela and Lauren. Fans of a five tissue box character study will enjoy THE THINGS WE DO FOR LOVE and want a future tale starring an older Lauren.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner