cover image For My Daughters

For My Daughters

Barbara Delinsky. HarperCollins Publishers, $20 (290pp) ISBN 978-0-06-017618-1

Bestselling romance author Delinsky ( Suddenly ) again proves herself an excellent storyteller in her hardcover debut, a thoroughly enjoyable weeper in which passion and family bonds are both victorious. Wealthy, widowed Philadelphia socialite Ginny St. Clair has always been cool and distant to her three daughters. The summer of her 70th birthday, she abruptly invites all of her offspring to help her settle into a mansion on the rocky Maine coast. Annette, the suffocatingly good mother of five; hard-edged Caroline, a hotshot Chicago lawyer; and Leah, the twice-divorced youngest sibling, arrive at the estate, each aghast to find the others--but their mother, by design, is not there. Though the three grimly assume battle positions, enforced proximity fosters grudging respect and finally love. For Leah, there's also a scalding affair with groundskeeper Jesse Cray, a wild echo of a romance that had flared half a century earlier between a gardener and the mistress of the house. Predictably, that woman was Ginny, who chose duty over love. Readers will enjoy the tart barbs flung by siblings whose animosities are well rendered, as well as the sparks that fly between Jesse and Leah. Clinically neat solutions to various problems and a few whacking credibility lapses hardly dent the novel's appeal. 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; audio to HarperAudio; author tour. (June)