An Act of Love

Nancy Thayer, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-15471-4
Owen and Linda McFarland, both novelists, have been married for seven years and reside on a Massachusetts farm with Bruce and Emily, the children from each of their respective first marriages. Their uneventful existence is disrupted, however, when Emily, now a teenager attending the same boarding school as Bruce, attempts suicide. After voluntarily staying on at the psychiatric hospital, Emily, whose recent behavioral changes include sudden weight gain and newfound religious devotion, reveals in therapy that the reason behind her despair is that her stepbrother raped her, a charge that Bruce vehemently denies. Will it be worse for the McFarlands if Emily is telling the truth, or if she's lying? And will their relationship survive the ultimate test of the hypothetical notion that one's stepchildren are as important as one's own? Thayer renders this potentially soapy situation in everyday terms, creating a moving chronicle of one family's pain. An unconventional ending may give readers pause but will undoubtedly prompt some rethinking of their definitions of crime and punishment. As she continues to address modern domestic issues, Thayer (Belonging) shows a firm grasp of her craft. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild alternate; TV rights to ABC-TV. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 308 pages - 978-0-312-96535-8
Hardcover - 371 pages - 978-1-56895-540-7
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-96879-3
Hardcover - 978-0-312-17172-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-7113-0
Open Ebook - 195 pages - 978-0-553-39104-6
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