FAYE DASEN: These Novels Bring Both Tears and Laughter
I've run across some pretty good novels in the past few weeks. A couple of them might elicit tears, so get the tissue box ready.
Searching for Paradise in Parker, PA
By Kris Radish
Bantam, 2008, $ 22
Like many couples who have been married for 30 years, Addy and Lucky Lipton seem to be living separate lives.
Lucky wins a trip to Costa Rica, so it appears that he and Addy might have a chance to reconnect with each other. Fate steps in, however, when Lucky injures his back, becoming bedridden. Addy is so frustrated that she can hardly bear to be around Lucky anymore -- and he seems to feel the same about her.
Addy decides to make some changes in her life, and she and Lucky separate. (He moves next door to live with their neighbor, Bob.) Then Lucky starts to make some changes himself.
Can their problems be overcome?
I really enjoyed Radish's novel right up through the final page. The characters were just flawed enough for readers to connect with them.
By Judy Duarte
Kensington, 208, $12.95
Claire Harper is just going through the motions. Since the death of her son, Erik, who was killed by a hit-and-run drive, her marriage has broken up, and she has pretty much lost any faith she had.
Mulberry Park is where she goes to jog, hoping that her exhaustion will allow her to sleep each night.
When she finds a pink envelope falling from a tree in the park, Claire sees that the note is addressed to "God" and is from a little girl named Analisa.
Analisa's parents are dead, and she asks for God to take care of them. Claire decides to respond to the note, and soon a correspondence springs up between Analisa and "God."
Eventually Claire finds friends among the people who visit the park, including Analisa's uncle.
This is a story that touches the heart.
By Karen Neches
Simon & Schuster, 2008, $14
Karen Neches also writes as Karin Gillespie, author of the "Bottom Dollar Girls" series.
Skye Sebring, a hospitality greeter inside Heaven, helps orientate the souls of the newly departed. She loves her job and wouldn't dream of going back down to Earth.
When Ryan Blaine comes into Heaven, it's obvious that he wasn't supposed to have come yet, so he's sent back. Skye is crazy about him, and she's determined to find a way to be with him.
I truly liked this book, which is well-written. It's a fun and light read, perfect for an afternoon on the beach.
Not Quite a Mom
By Kristen Sawyer
Kensington, 2008, $12.95
One phone call has turned Elizabeth Castle's world upside down. Her best childhood friend has died and left her teenage daughter in Elizabeth's custody.
When attorney Buck Planter, a former classmate, arrives to deliver Tiffany to Elizabeth's home, sparks are resurrected despite the fact that Elizabeth is engaged.
Sawyer is the author of "Not Quite a Bride."
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 693-2475.
More like this story