Luanne Rice, Author . Bantam $7.50 (429p) ISBN 978-0-553-58404-2

Heartwarming and assured, Rice's latest novel (after The Secret Hour) addresses timeless themes and will linger with readers long after the reading is done. For years, Bay McCabe has kept her family together despite her husband's unfaithfulness. When Sean disappears one afternoon, she discovers that he has embezzled money from many in their small seaside town. Suddenly, Bay and her three children are besieged by the press, isolated from their community and broke. The eventual discovery of Sean's dead body raises larger questions like why he stole, who helped him and whether he might have been murdered. One clue reconnects Bay with widower Daniel Connolly, a boat builder with whom she shared a teenage attraction. As solid as Sean was slick, Daniel rekindles Bay's affections even as his troubled daughter Eliza helps Bay's daughter Annie cope with the summer's horrors. But when it turns out that Danny's late wife may have been entangled with Sean, their tenuous tie threatens to break. Rich with scenic settings and colorful characters, this is a beautifully crafted novel despite some 11th-hour plot contrivances. Rice's ability to evoke the lyricism of the seaside lifestyle without over-sentimentalizing contemporary issues like adultery, anorexia or white-collar crime is just one of the many gifts that make this a perfect summer read. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/14/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-1637-1
Open Ebook - 335 pages - 978-0-553-89774-6
Paperback - 476 pages - 978-84-666-3301-7
Hardcover - 738 pages - 978-0-7862-5909-0
Paperback - 350 pages - 978-84-666-2112-0
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