Making It Up As I Go Along

M. T. Lennon, Author . Shaye Areheart $21 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4000-8190-5

When 38-year-old war correspondent Saffron Roch quits Sierra Leone, pregnant with her unfaithful lover's child, she heads to London to have baby Halla and then returns to her native California to find herself catapulted into two new, unnerving conflicts. There's that single-motherhood business, for one, and then there's the fact that she's netted a $10-million estate from her adoptive mother, Heaven, whose disinherited birth son, the tofu-eating pseudo-guru Francis, seems weirdly okay with it. Meeting other new moms at the Pump Station, a haven for Malibu mommies that pushes breast-feeding and "bath products that Catherine Zeta-Jones used," gives Saff a much-needed boost, even if she's "better prepared at ambushing a pocket of Chechen rebels than... having brunch at Barney's with a baby in tow." Lennon ably shows Saff's growing friendship with her fellow moms; she also, through flashbacks, reveals Saff's complicated past in Sierra Leone—her troubles with Halla's father, the surgeon Oscar; her attraction to Joseph, a beautiful, mysterious African—while weaving quite a present-day plot. Back in Sierra Leone, Joseph may be put to death for treason, while in Malibu, Francis is cooking up a plot to get his mom's property back. Lennon's debut is a winning mix of humor and suspense. (June)

Reviewed on: 05/16/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
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