Family Planning

Elizabeth Letts, Author New American Library $12.95 (283p) ISBN 978-0-451-21759-2
In her busy sophomore novel, Letts starts with a nurse practitioner in rural Londondale, Penn. finding a dead baby in a dumpster, and from there takes off in a dozen different directions. Nurse Charlotte Hopper's discovery, outside the women's health center where she works, instigates a highly publicized search for the killer, investigations into the clinic's viability, a slew of protestors without much to say other than they're ""against dead babies,"" and a litany of other madcap fallout. Charlotte herself struggles to serve her disadvantaged clientele while handling a potential corporate buyout, a deserting husband, news crews and an old acquaintance with a sinister past. And still there's more: suicide, flooding and an emergency childbirth among them. The cast of supporting characters are alternately sweet or villainous, and most of the women are down on their luck, but Letts' second novel is ultimately a feel-good tale of family, motherhood and the sanctity of babies.
Reviewed on: 02/27/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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