What Matters Most

Luanne Rice, Author . Bantam $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-553-80533-8

True love never dies—but it may need the helping hand of the Virgin Mary and the luck o’ the Irish to survive in Rice’s latest, effectively a sequel to last year’s Sandcastles . Sister Bernadette Ignatius (the former Bernie Sullivan), Mother Superior at the coastal Connecticut Star of the Sea Academy, travels to Dublin with Tom Kelly, the academy’s ombudsman, seeking James, the son they gave up over 20 years ago. In a parallel narrative set up in a prologue, young James and Kathleen, raised together as orphans, are devastated when they are forced to separate when Kathleen is 13. While Bernie and Tom look for James (now calling himself Seamus), James searches for Kathleen, who pines for him in a Newport, R.I., mansion, where she is a cook and maid for an atrocious, wealthy family. Rice juices up the predictable plot line with miraculous visions, ghosts, convenient encounters and melodramatic twists of fate—yet the effects are still lukewarm, though there’s guilt, redemption and three-hankie moments aplenty for those who stick it out to the end. (July)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-553-38686-8
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-4358-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 496 pages - 978-0-553-59205-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 459 pages - 978-0-553-58970-2
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-3898-0
Hardcover - 544 pages - 978-0-7393-2727-2
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-553-90385-0
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