cover image Confession


Elizabeth Gage. Mira Books, $12.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-55166-465-1

In moody prose, Gage (A Glimpse of Stocking) draws us into the unlived life of Rebecca Lowell. Rebecca dotes on her college-age daughter, Dusty, and endures her womanizing lawyer husband, Damon, but her existence has no real savor. When Dusty's boyfriend, Tony Delafield, admits he has a crush on her, sparks ignite. After Rebecca runs off with her daughter's beau, leaving terse words for Damon and none for Dusty, the girl descends into druggy, affectless sex. As the affair with Tony loses its blinding passion, Catholic-raised Rebecca tries in vain to confess, leaves Tony for widower Sam Bittman and eventually reunites with Dusty, who has been saved by the love of grad student Cameron Burch. Yet Rebecca never finds the peace of absolution--until the violence foreshadowed by the prologue bring events full circle. Like the affair itself, Dusty's forgiveness of Rebecca comes out of the blue; indeed, the motivation for most of the characters is sketchy, and too many pat new relationships occur toward the end of the shallow and facile narrative. But the painful questions Gage asks about the right to live before one dies, at any price, will intrigue readers of popular romances. Author tour. (June)