Sudden Moves

Charlotte Vale Allen, Author, Charlotte Vale Allen, Author
Charlotte Vale Allen, Author, Charlotte Vale Allen, Author Mira Books $12.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2036-4
Hardcover - 486 pages - 978-0-7862-6670-8
Hardcover - 978-1-4056-1033-9
Hardcover - 978-1-4056-2026-0
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This follow-up to Allen's Fresh Air reintroduces Lucinda Hunter, a recovering agoraphobe, successful screenwriter and popular movie reviewer who grew up in her film star mother's shadow. After discovering the truth about her absentee father's interracial background, Lucinda devotes considerable time to connecting with her long-lost family. Inexplicably, Lucinda's elderly Aunt Anne, a prim, skeletal fashionista, treats her with contempt and grows exceedingly possessive of the time Lucinda spends with Anne's aged mother. Allen spends a lot of time on this family conflict, and the plot line drags. As Lucinda grapples with her newfound family and complicated past, she also struggles with crippling self-image issues resulting from the double mastectomy she underwent as a teenager. Allen takes great pains to realistically convey the transformation in Lucinda's life when she takes an interest in her paternal grandmother's physician, and she portrays the budding romance with delicate sensitivity. Lucinda also develops a friendly relationship with Jason, the young boy who lives next door with his troubled mother, and strengthens her bond with Katanya, the Fresh Air Fund camper who captivated her in the previous book. But the story goes awry when Allen employs the events of September 11th to drive the story forward; for those affected by the day's terrible events, this manipulation might leave a bitter aftertaste amidst the happily ever after ending.
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