Kensington, Feb 2003, 15.00, 288 pp.
Preadolescent Hannah Whittaker is painting her toenails at Bluegang Creek in Rinconada, California hoping her friends Liz and Jeanne will join her. When fifteen year old Billy Phillips arrives he starts making sexual advances to the twelve year old girl. She gets frightened and pushes him. His head hits some rocks and he dies. When her friends come and sees Billy's body, Liz wants to tell somebody in authority but Hannah and Jeanne talk her out of it.
Four decades later Liz returns to Rinconada to see her two friends she regards as family and to have an abortion. All her life Liz ran from commitment and even though she has been living with Gerard for seven years she's afraid to marry him. Hannah, who has two teenagers, wants to adopt a crack baby and Liz's unborn child to the point of desperation. Jeanne is married to the man she loves but fears that he will leave her; she also resents his tomcatting around and that he influenced her into giving up for adoption their three month old son. Will a four-decade friendship survive the surprising revelations that surfaces or will the truth destroy their sisterhood?
This is a very absorbing tale that focuses on the lives of three women. They made and make mistakes, feel guilt over an incident that happened almost forty years ago, and their quest for redemption surfaces in strange and tragic ways. This is more of a character study than an action drama but women of all ages will be able to identify with the problems these women face. Drusilla Campbell is a wonderful storyteller who probes into the human psyche with some uncanny insights.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner