Queen of Broken Hearts

Cassandra King, Author
Cassandra King, Author . Hyperion $23.95 (432p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0177-4
Reviewed on: 02/05/2007
Release date: 02/01/2007

A therapist specializing in helping people get sorted out postdivorce has her own problems of the heart in King's latest (after The Same Sweet Girls ). Since the death of her husband, "divorce coach" Clare has thrown herself into her work. And now that she has a booming practice on Alabama's gulf coast, her after-hours is packed with even more drama: her best friend Dory's marriage is forever on the rocks; her daughter Haley's husband abandons the family; Maine transplant and marina owner Lex is newly divorced, available and interested; and Zoe, Clare's dead husband's mother, is helping Clare accomplish her dream of creating a retreat center. With more than a little help from her friends—old and new—Clare lets go of her grief and gives love another shot. Though it exhibits that unmistakable Southern charm, King's writing also frustrates: backstories are hinted at but left murky, while nagging questions hang around for hundreds of pages (the circumstances surrounding Clare's husband's death, for instance) and overshadow Clare's present-day narrative. Storytelling kinks aside, King delivers what her fans want—strong bonds, strong women characters and triumph over tragedy. (Mar.)

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