Dangerous Happiness

Hazel Hucker, Author
Hazel Hucker, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-312-14307-7
Hardcover - 560 pages - 978-0-7089-3487-6
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Driving a flashy red Porsche and bringing his unbounded enthusiasm and flair for life, young Charley St. George descends upon the idyllic English village of Abbotsbridge to change the lives of three women whose marital, career and childbearing struggles are the focus of historical novelist Hucker's (Cousin Susannah) contemporary romance. Irrepressible Charley meets lonely Brozie Hamilton, 52, whose bitter husband is dying of cancer, quickly wins her friendship and lifts her depression. Two of Brozie's friends come under Charley's influence, too. Maggie Easton has lost a two-year-old child and wants another baby, but her husband refuses. Career woman Louise Bennett is conflicted about motherhood and has been deceiving her lover by taking birth-control pills while he believes they're trying to conceive. Charley finds solutions for both women's problems, though at the price of an obsessive love for Maggie. Fundamental questions about juggling career and marriage and other issues are raised and entertainingly, if too easily, answered in this paean to pregnancy and motherhood. Details about horseracing, gardening and quality furniture create an intimate, rosy picture of a village and a group of women who do not understand that Charley's ""chronic happiness"" is a psychiatric disorder. Charley pays the ultimate price for his optimism, but his legacy of spiritual and romantic love enables all three women to find what they need to get on with their lives. (July)
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