Kristin Hannah, Author
Kristin Hannah, Author . Ballantine $23.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-345-46750-8
Reviewed on: 06/21/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004

In this tear-jerking novel by Hannah (Between Sisters ), 38-year-old Angela Malone abandons a successful advertising career in Seattle to find comfort in West End, the small Pacific Northwest coastal town where she grew up. Pregnancy woes (chronic miscarriages, a baby who lived only for five days and a botched adoption) have caused her marriage to journalist Conlan to end in divorce. Her big, warmhearted Italian family welcomes her with open arms, and she throws herself into revamping the family restaurant, DeSaria's. Then she befriends hard-working teenager Lauren Ribido, who's in need of a new coat, some mothering and, later on, a place to live. Lauren's life is far worse than self-pitying Angie's—she's pregnant, her alcoholic mother has given up on her, and her rich boyfriend, David, is off to his first-choice college. Lauren can't go through with the abortion David encourages her to have, and the next step seems obvious: she should give the baby up to Angie, who's on the way to reconciling with Conlan. Hannah stacks the odds against Lauren almost absurdly, and makes her life with Angie a rose-tinted dream come true, but she paints a wrenching, convincing picture of the dilemma teenage mothers face. Familiar but warmly rendered characters, a few surprising twists and a bittersweet ending make this satisfying summer reading. Agent, Andrea Cirillo. 6-city author tour. (June)

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