Laura

Alan Shatter, Author
Alan Shatter, Author Learning Links $10.95 (260p) ISBN 978-1-85371-042-1
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Shatter, an Irish legislator and attorney, draws on his professional experiences for this syrupy, heavy-handed first novel about a child-custody battle. Sean Brannigan, member of the Irish parliament, is vocally pro-family and anti-abortion. But he doesn't practice what he preaches: having seduced his innocent secretary, Colette James, Brannigan suggests that she obtain an abortion when she finds herself pregnant. Knowing her parents would throw her out if they learned of her pregnancy, Colette moves away and secretly arranges for adoption. John and Jenny Masterson, the adopting parents, ``sob with joy'' when they are given Laura, Colette's five-day-old daughter. But 10 months later, the young woman, haunted by thoughts of the child she never knew, refuses to sign the final consent papers and says she wants Laura returned. The Mastersons resist, and a legal battle ensues between the perfect, well-to-do adopting parents and the unstable, unmarried natural mother. Guess who wins. Shatter depicts the legal arguments effectively, but flat dialogue and weak characterization detract from the dramatic potential. (Dec.)
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