A Sense of Belonging

Erica James, Author Orion Books $17.99 (389p) ISBN 978-0-7528-1244-1
James's latest romantic novel (after Airs and Graces) begins when the first tenants move into Cholmford Hall Mews, near Manchester in the North England countryside. The Mews, once the stables of a grand shooting lodge, is now an upscale housing development, home to a group of residents who grow from strangers to close-knit neighbors as they share a variety of life-changing experiences. Jessica Lloyd, a 36-year-old novelist, has left behind her carefree (but emotionally frustrating) expatriate life in Corfu to be close to her lively but aging mother, Anna. Amanda is newly married to widower Tony Fergusson, and is irritably adjusting to her roles as housewife and stepmother to his young daughter, Hattie. Beautiful former librarian Kate, who loves children and quietly nurtures Hattie, is in her late 20s and lives with Alec, a divorced 49-year-old executive. Josh Crawford runs his family's clothing business with his brother Charlie, and insists on living alone at Cholmford Mews, despite the fact that he has recently been diagnosed with MS. James convincingly describes Josh's struggles with his illness and the reactions of others as he comes to terms with the disease, while tracking his budding relationship with Jessica. Meanwhile, a miscarriage, a divorce, two unexpected romances and a reconciliation or two keep the narrative moving. Anglophiles and readers who like happy endings should find ample satisfaction in this bucolic social comedy. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
Mass Market Paperbound - 514 pages - 978-0-7528-4342-1
Paperback - 514 pages - 978-0-7528-8343-4
Open Ebook - 544 pages - 978-1-4091-0751-4
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