* Tragedy ruins an actress' life - until love makes her bounce back. Romance, suspense and great storytelling from New York Times bestselling author.
Judith Barnard and Michael Fain, a husband and wife writing team, live in Chicago and Aspen, Colorado. All their novels have been bestsellers, both in Britain and America.
Lucas Cameron is a very successful New York City theater director. Growing up with his grandmother, the renowned actress Constance Bernhardt, he was instilled with a deep love and insightful understanding of the stage. While working on a new play, he learns that Constance has died, and he returns to her villa in Italy to settle her affairs. There he discovers letters written to Constance by her friend and acting protégé, Jessica Fontaine, which he starts reading one quiet evening to amuse himself. Captivated by the young woman's outlook on life, he continues to read, discovering that her career is abruptly ended when she suffered grave physical injuries in a train accident and leads a new and very secluded life on an island off the coast of Seattle. Deeply affected by her letters, Lucas realizes that he wants to meet this woman and discover why she has isolated herself not only from the acting arena but apparently from the world in general. Michael's (Tangled Web, LJ 11/15/94) novel tells a gently felt story with a surprising amount of suspense. Although probably set to be hyped by its publisher as "woman's fiction," this is really a thought-provoking character study of two very complicated individuals trying to come to grips with each other and the choices they have made in their lives. A sure winner for Michaels fans and a wonderful choice to introduce new readers to her work.‘Margaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., Mich.
'Unusual, effective and tender love story' MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
The glamorous world of the theater is the setting of this emotional if long-winded romance from the pseudonymous Michael. Broadway director Luke Cameron has material success but an empty heart‘until he finds a box of letters left behind by his deceased aunt, a famous stage actress. Written to his aunt by her protégée Jessica Fontaine, a talented actress who disappeared from the spotlight after she was injured in a train accident, the letters are filled with the passion and verve Luke has sought in his own life. Falling in love with Jessica through her words, Luke decides to find her, even though she has lived in seclusion for two decades, her beauty and spirit marred. When he does confront her on her island retreat in Puget Sound, she is dumpy and clumsy, seeming older than her 45 years. Yet when circumstances throw them together, Jessica blossoms and begins to regain her old magnetism. The two spend a delicious week together, but Jessica refuses a life with Luke until she can make a comeback on her own‘an outcome that is never in doubt. With eight bestsellers behind her, Michael (A Tangled Web, etc.) knows how to make her intriguing premise work, seamlessly interweaving letters into a story that shuttles easily between Luke's and Jessica's viewpoints. Michael offers a convincing glimpse into the process of a theatrical production while providing the requisite globe-spanning settings, including Italy, New York and Sydney, Australia. Though Luke's perfection and Jessica's stubborn insistence on distance may make some readers impatient, loyal Michael fans are bound to applaud. Major ad/promo; simultaneous Random House large print edition (0-679-77418-1). (Mar.) FYI: Judith Michaels is the pen name of the husband-and-wife writing team of Judith Barnard and Michael Fain.