16 LIGHTHOUSE ROAD

Debbie Macomber, Author . Mira $6.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-55166-830-7

As a family court judge, Olivia Lockhart has dealt with numerous divorce suits but none as peculiar as Cecilia and Ian Randall's. Before the young couple was married the year before, Cecilia and Ian signed a prenuptial agreement stating their marriage would last a lifetime, but now, after the tragic death of their infant daughter, the two wish to rescind the agreement. Sensing that Cecilia and Ian are still in love, Olivia lets her heart guide her decision, and denies their petition. Olivia's decision makes headlines in The Cedar Cove Chronicle and earns her the admiration of the paper's editor, Jack Griffin, a newcomer to the small Washington town. While Jack courts Olivia, and Ian and Cecilia try to repair their marriage, Olivia's daughter is forced to decide whether she should marry a man whom she doesn't love; Olivia's best friend grows frantic over the disappearance of her husband; and Olivia's mother befriends a stroke patient who harbors a secret he would share if he could speak. Despite the novel's fragmented structure, readers will warm to its endearing characters. Prolific Macomber (Thursdays at Eight, etc.) is known for her honest portrayals of ordinary women in small-town America, and this tale cements her position as an icon of the genre. (Sept.)

Forecast:A national print advertising campaign and a Northwest author tour scheduled to coincide with the publication of Macomber's latest offering will boost sales, and a rosy real-estate cover will increase the book's appeal to its target readership.

Reviewed on: 07/23/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
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