This Child is Mine

Henry Denker, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (330p) ISBN 978-0-688-14125-7
What should have been a volatile, straight-from-the-headlines story of the custody battle between a child's birth and adoptive parents is defused by the cliched characters in Denker's (Mrs. Washington and Horowitz, Too) latest novel. When struggling NYC actress Lori Adams finds herself unexpectedly expecting, her struggling-actor boyfriend Brett Mann proposes marriage. But the ever self-sacrificing Lori won't jeopardize Matt's nonexistent career; she returns home to the Midwest, where she chooses adoption over single motherhood. As parents for her son, Lori selects Bill and Christine Salem--good, honest folk who are a mite dull around the edges. Time passes. Brett becomes a soap opera hunk and hires a detective to locate Lori. Finding her and discovering that their son has been adopted, he vows to marry Lori and to fight for custody of Scotty Salem, now two. But Denker's failure to make either couple sympathetic enough to spark the reader's concern leaves the courtroom confrontation lukewarm and the conclusion uninvolving. Trite dialogue and characters' less-than-credible emotional responses further undermine the novel's impact. A Reader's Digest Condensed Book Selection. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
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