cover image Words Get in the Way

Words Get in the Way

Nan Rossiter. Kensington, $15 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-7582-4668-4

Callie Wyeth left her New Hampshire home for college and stayed away to hide her accidental pregnancy from high school sweetheart Linden Finch (who was unfortunately not the father). Having struggled for several years as a single mother, she returns home with her son, Henry%E2%80%94recently diagnosed with autism%E2%80%94when her father's health declines. Despondent over her father's illness and Henry's condition, Callie finds comfort in her old flame%E2%80%94and, much to Callie's delight, so does Henry. Linden soothes the little boy, and Henry begins to come out of his shell. Nonetheless, Callie mourns the difficulties Henry will face in life, and wonders whether his disorder is punishment for the indiscretion that resulted in his birth. Linden helps Callie overcome her guilt, and the pair begin to rekindle their long-lost romance. Rossiter's second novel (after The Gin & Chowder Club) is an intimate portrayal of a family in crisis, with good character development and a bucolic setting. However, a lackluster plot will leave readers feeling that Rossiter's words may have gotten in the way of a better book. Agent: Deirdre Mullane, Mullane Literary Associates. (Apr.)