cover image Delta Girls

Delta Girls

Gayle Brandeis, Ballantine, $15 paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-345-49262-3

Brandeis's heartwarming but forgettable newest follows two women, different as night and day, pursuing separate fortunes that eventually collide. Izzy and her nine-year-old daughter, Quinn, roam the country as migrant fruit pickers, constantly running from something that Izzy can never articulate. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, an up-and-coming 17-year-old figure skater named Karen finds herself falling for her new skating partner, the charismatic Nathan, while skirting ever closer to her Olympic dreams. Once Izzy and Quinn land in a Sacramento, Calif., delta town where they can settle down a bit, a pair of stranded whales draws the attention of the media, putting Izzy unwittingly in the spotlight—and causing her past to re-emerge, with far-reaching consequences for the unsuspecting Karen. Brandeis's latest effort is sweet but predictable; astute readers will quickly pick up on the twist uniting her twin stories and spend much of the book waiting for it to materialize. Tension within the plot lines, particularly between Karen and Nathan, is handled broadly and without exploring the stakes, giving readers little incentive to carry on. (July)