Leslie Carroll, Author . Avon $13.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-0871
Adoption insights get benched in favor of sports slapstick in Carroll’s mother-daughter farce. Forty-year-old former burlesque queen Olivia deMarley is engaged to a Colorado sports equipment magnate, but she’s never shaken her disappointment over her estrangement from her wealthy disapproving father, Augie. When Livy returns to Manhattan for Augie’s funeral, she receives two surprises: first is the reappearance of Sophie, the daughter Livy gave up for adoption 20 years ago. Secondly, Augie’s will leaves Livy the controlling interest in the Bronx Cheers, a cellar-dwelling minor league baseball team, provided she can “close the circle.” Left to ponder her father’s cryptic words, Livy is given a chance to develop a relationship with tough-minded softball star Sophie, even if it means distancing herself from the man she loves. Although Carroll includes plenty of birth mother–daughter–adoptive parent tension, most of the revelations feel superficial, as the plots hinges primarily on light comedy, whether it be in the courtroom, in ridiculous family shenanigans or on the baseball diamond. Readers who like their humor broad and their sports fiction tinted pink will revel in Carroll’s mother-daughter dynamos.
Reviewed on: 12/24/2007