FAYE DASEN: Contemporary Fiction From Good Writers
I realized that I still have several books from last year that I want to mention, so I'll include a few each week until I get caught up.
By Anne Rivers Siddons
Grand Central, 2008, $24.99
Siddons is a popular writer, and most of her fans will enjoy this book, although I can't say that it's one of my favorites. The author leaves behind the Low Country of South Carolina and heads up to the coast of Maine in order to tell the story of Lilly Constable McCall and her late husband, Cam.
On the surface, it appears that Lilly and Cam had a happy life together up until his death. When Lilly goes to Maine to think through her situation, events come to light that impact her view of her relationship with Cam in the first place.
I notice that many of those who reviewed the book on amazon.com complained that they didn't like the ending or didn't "get" it. It was a little disconcerting, but I wasn't really bothered by it myself.
Siddons is the author of "Sweetwater Creek," "Peachtree Road," "Heartbreak Hotel," and others.
The Richest Season
By Maryann McFadden
Hyperion, 2008, $22.95
Joanna has been married for 25 years. She and her husband, Paul, have raised their children, and she's wondering what she has to look forward to in their marriage. He seems to be interested mainly in his work, while she fills her time reading or watching television.
One day, Joanna decides that she has to get out or go crazy. She takes a trip to Pawley's Island, S.C., a place she had fallen in love with many years before, taking a position as a caregiver for an elderly lady. She also develops a sort of relationship with a local fisherman, although she's not sure how far she should let it go.
Meanwhile, Paul has lost his job -- and now it appears maybe his wife -- and finds himself becoming a handyman of sorts in the neighborhood.
Can Paul win Joanna back? Or has her time on Pawley's Island changed their relationship for good?
This book was originally self-pubished in 2006, selling 3,000 copies (a great many for a self-published book), and was picked up by Hyperion. That just shows that writers need to have faith in their work.
The You I Never Knew
By Susan Wiggs
Grand Central, 2008, $4.99
Michelle Turner returns to Montana, along with her resentful son, Cody, after 20 years, to donate a kidney to her father, in spite of their estrangement.
Michelle left home at 17, pregnant by Sam McPhee, a range hand with whom she was in love. Her father had basically run Sam off -- before Sam knew about the baby.
Coming back to Montana means the possibility that she will see Sam again. Not only does she see him, but he soon realizes that Cody has to be his son.
The way the characters react to all of the secrets revealed is what makes the story wonderful.
Wiggs is definitely one of the better writers in this genre today.
Contact Faye Dasen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 693-2475.
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