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Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, Author Delacorte Press $19.95 (293p) ISBN 978-0-385-29914-5
Hailey ( A Woman of Independent Means ) opens her fourth novel just as Kate's husband has announced that he is leaving her. For 25 years Kate has taken wifehood ``as seriously as anyone takes a paying job,'' as she later tells a friend, ``and I thought I was earning the right to a secure old age with the man I loved.'' Devastated when her husband drives off, Kate notices a battered station wagon in front of her house: ``It looked the way she felt.'' The driver can't start the car, and Kate runs out, offering him the use of her phone. Thus begins Kate's relationship with homeless Ford and his family, who have lost their farm in Iowa and come to California in search of work. Eventually they share Kate's house. In saving this family, Kate saves herself. Hailey, however, sugarcoats the gravity of her themes--the immorality of the deep division in American society between the haves and the have-nots; the plight of abandoned wives. Resolutions of these problems are too easily effected here, but although the novel is not entirely persuasive, it offers a gratifying encounter with a tremendously likable heroine. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club alternate selections. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-440-21136-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-47029-1
Hardcover - 978-0-385-30399-6
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