cover image Mending Fences

Mending Fences

Sherryl Woods, . . Mira, $6.99 (395pp) ISBN 978-0-7783-2457-7

Compulsively readable, the latest romantic drama from bestselling author Woods (Feels Like Family ) traces beautifully and honestly two suburban Miami families' emotional crises, as they face their worst fears with help from friends. When her best friend's son, Evan, is accused of date rape, recently divorced teacher Emily Dobbs immediately stands by the young man who's become like a second son to her. The boy's mother, Marcie Carter, is grateful for the support, as her domineering husband, Ken, seems more interested in destroying the reputation of the accuser than in taking care of his family. The longtime friendship between the two women is pushed to its limits, however, when disturbing suspicions emerge that victims may not be limited to one girl—and as the investigation proceeds, Emily finds her own son and daughter getting pulled into the maelstrom. Moreover, Emily's unexpected attraction to a police detective on the case further tests her loyalty and conviction. Though the serious issues raised (date rape, verbal abuse) are handled with honesty and integrity, Woods's novel easily rises above hot-button topics to tell a universal tale of friendship's redemptive power. (Oct.)