cover image Babydreams


Maxine Paetro. Simon & Schuster, $17.45 (303pp) ISBN 978-0-671-66758-0

Advertising executive Paetro ( Manshare ) writes effectively about a modern woman's dilemma: deciding whether to have a child. In 1969, college student Stevie Weinberger had an abortion when her boyfriend, Andy Newman, dutifully married his ex-flame, Carol, also pregnant by him. Today, at 39, Stevie is a successful New York TV personality, but her peace of mind vanishes when Carol, now divorced from Andy, reappears. Upon meeting the Newmans' entrancing daughter, Stevie desperately craves a child of her own. Her lover, Philip, adamantly refuses; he can barely cope with his teenaged son from a previous marriage. Just when Stevie and Philip sadly part, Andy returns to offer Stevie a tantalizing chance to start a family with him. Meanwhile, Stevie's colleague Ginny faces her own fears that motherhood would sidetrack her career. Paetro portrays her likable, realistic, vulnerable characters with the flair of a seasoned novelist. First serial to Cosmopolitan. (Jan.)