cover image Seasons of Her Life

Seasons of Her Life

Fern Michaels. Ballantine Books, $21.95 (522pp) ISBN 978-0-345-36774-7

In pleasant prose fortified by good plotting, prolific author Michaels ( Texas Sunrise ) tells the story of Ruby Connors, who bolts from her hometown of Barstow, Penn., as soon as she graduates from high school, happily leaving behind her abusive father, servile mother and brutalized sister Opal. She gets a civil service job in post-WW II Washington, D.C., where she initially lives with her sister Amber and falls in love with serviceman Calvin Santos. Unable to believe in her feelings, insecure Calvin decamps after a trivial misunderstanding, and Ruby marries Marine Andrew Blue. She bears him two children, but he is a hostile, stern husband and father. Myriad years and countless plot developments go by; Ruby survives various crises, maintains a strong female friendship and uses money left by her beloved grandmother to help friends and sisters. Her final ``season'' finds her wealthy and free, but lonely and still searching for life's meaning until, in the closing pages, she decides to make herself useful to others. Though Ruby is not always likable and the author passes too quickly over some vital events in the narrative, readers should enjoy this bustling tale. (Apr.)