Change of Heart

Tracy Stern, Author Simon & Schuster $22 (256p) ISBN 978-0-684-81121-5
The emotional turmoil of adoption churns through this romantic yarn by Stern (This I Promise). In her early 20s, Kerry McKinney planned to marry her childhood sweetheart, finish college and start a writing career. When her fiance dies in an accident, she is devastated-and secretly pregnant. Turning to her grandmother Lisbeth in San Francisco, Kerry gets and heeds advice to give the baby up. Satisfied that she's found the perfect adoptive couple, Kerry is set in her decision-until the baby is born and she discovers that letting go is not so easy after all. While Stern has chosen a gut-wrenching premise, she fails to give her story the emotional power or poignancy it deserves. Kerry's immature, often thoughtless behavior does little to illuminate the pain of such a decision. Stern dishes out old-fashioned thinking in tepid prose: ""Lisbeth was convinced that the right choice for Kerry was to give the baby up for adoption. She didn't want Kerry to compromise the rest of her life by being tied down with a baby at such a young age. She wouldn't be able to complete her education, or have a career. How many men would be attracted to her if she was saddled with a young child?"" This antiquated attitude is meant to justify the troubling fact that the paternal grandparents are never informed that their dead son had a child. Such an omission will create within most readers a chilling distance from Kerry-a fatal flaw in a tale meant to tug heart strings. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1997
Release date: 04/01/1997
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-684-87040-3
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