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Family Baggage

New or Used: 4 copies from $14.45
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Turner Travel specializes in themed tours that take Merryn Bay, Australia, locals abroad. The natural deaths, two months apart, of patriarch and matriarch Neil and Penny Turner leave the family business in the hands of their three children, Harriet, James and Austin; foster daughter Lara; and a handful of family friends. The book opens as Harriet, still recovering from her mother's death, leads 12 tourists through the Cornwall countryside in the footsteps of British TV detective Willoughby, but flashes back to the family's past and various coping strategies: James hides behind his domineering wife, Melissa; Austin parties; Lara, taken in by the family under mysterious circumstances nearly 25 years earlier, is the model of efficiency. Meanwhile Lara, who was to aid Harriet on the Cornwall tour, has disappeared, and Patrick Shawcross, the actor who played Willoughby and who has been hired to accompany the tour has mistaken it for a where-are-they-now media opportunity. The mystery of Lara's family and Melissa's nefariousness come to light, and Harriet's love life heats up. McInerney (The Alphabet Sisters), who lives in Ireland, offers a light look at a complicated family. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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