New York Times bestseller Jacquelyn Mitchard's novels include The Deep End of the Ocean, Twelve Times Blessed, and The Breakdown Lane. She is also the author of The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, a collection of her newspaper columns. She lives with her husband and six children in Madison, Wisconsin.
Mitchard's fourth novel (after A Theory of Relativity) is a lengthy recounting of one year in the life of 43-year-old widow True Dickinson. Now running a successful mail-order baby gift business, True is restless for a little romance as the memories of her somewhat unhappy marriage fade. The standard cast of characters is on hand to aid or impede her efforts: True's co-workers, fey twentysomething Isabelle and equally fey gay-guy Rudy; stalwart and practical friend Franny; cute and brilliantly talented son Guy; and interfering mom Kathleen. And, of course, there's Hank, the almost-too-good-to-be-true 33-year-old chef who rescues her during a blizzard and falls madly in love with her. True has this one year to learn to love or to turn into a replica of her bitter and isolated mother. Since she is well on her way to the latter, it takes business disasters, sudden illnesses, weddings, deaths, pregnancy, and many fights before she begins to soften. Mitchard's tendency to analyze characters mid-action creates a sense of distance and makes this a less than compelling tale. Still, fans of her books will probably demand this one. For popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/02.]-Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll. Lib., NC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The author of The Deep End of the Ocean delivers once again in this overstuffed story about a middle-aged woman's complicated second marriage. She chronicles one year in the life of True Dickinson, the owner of a thriving mail-order business on Cape Cod. Widowed for eight years, she is raising her 10-year-old son, Guy, with the help of her office assistant, Isabelle, and her controlling mother, Kathleen. On her 43rd birthday, she is lamenting her lack of love life when fate, in the form of a road accident, brings her together with Hank Bannister, a man 10 years younger than she. They court and marry quickly-then life gets tricky. Having been freewheeling most of his life, Hank is loath to accept his new responsibilities. True, for her part, must do more than just pencil him into her structured life; he wants to feel needed and integral. Hank, a sexy chef of Creole background, is as much a laid-back Southerner as True is a mistrustful New Englander. "He may be one in a million. Or this may be the biggest ratio of bullshit since time began," True thinks. Mitchard infuses the courtship and domestic life with gentle humor. Kathleen is a caricature of the withholding mother, but such characters as True's brother, Dog; her new mother-in-law, Clothilde; and True herself resonate with distinctive voices as Mitchard explores the intimate details involved in making a family work. 14-city author tour; rights sold in Holland, Italy, the U.K. and Poland. (Apr.) Forecast: Mitchard's fans will flock to buy this book, since most of them are aware of her well-publicized marriage to a man a decade her junior. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"Seductively voyeuristic." -- Rocky Mountain News
"Entertaining and absorbing." -- Chattanooga Times Free Press
"Mitchard's writing is vivid and absorbing." -- Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"A perfect choice for the beach." -- Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Seductively voyeuristic."--Rocky Mountain News
"Mitchard is a keen observer of the ebbs and flows of daily life."--Chicago Sun-Times
"A perfect choice for the beach."--Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Jacquelyn Mitchard brings her pitch-perfect rendering of human relationships to her new novel."--Seattle Times
"Mitchard's writing is vivid and absorbing."--Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Mitchard writes seductively, and sometimes with breathtaking honesty, about insecurity and self-absorption, love and lust, family and friendship."--Boston Herald
"Mitchard has established herself as a master of literary chiaroscuro."--Entertainment Weekly
"Entertaining and absorbing."--Chattanooga Times Free Press