Once in Every Life

Kristin Hannah, Author Ballantine Books $7.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-449-14838-9
Tess Gregory is a successful research scientist with a poignant past when her deafness keeps her from hearing and avoiding an oncoming bus. Because her life has been so unsatisfactory and truncated, she is given a chance at a new one. A guardian angel escorts Tess to the ``theater of second chances,'' where her options consist of choosing among several different men to accompany in her next go-round. What she fails to understand is that the appealing man and newborn baby on whom she settles are living in the year 1873. On the positive side, Tess has been reincarnated in the body of a drop-dead gorgeous new mother complete with curly blond hair and perfect hearing. As for the down side, the woman whose body she now inhabits has been unspeakably cruel to her husband and daughters, so that they are afraid of her. Before her situation is resolved she uses her modern psychiatric knowledge to help a dyslexic daughter learn to read, as well to cure her husband of the post-traumatic stress disorder he suffers from as a result of having fought in the Civil War. While not all of the details are historically right--much of the language sounds up-to-the-minute--the heroine's pluck and imagination are always engaging. Hannah wrote The Enchantment. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/28/1992
Release date: 12/01/1992
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